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With an Introduction and Notes 
By Professor C. H. Herford, M.A., Litt.D., F.B.A, 

los. 6d. net 

See Inside Fiap 


In 1819 Robert Southey, the Poet 
Laureate, in company with Telford, 
the great engineer, made a compre- 
hensive tour through Scotland, and, 
being a true bookman, kept a record 
of the people met and the things 
seen during their journey. Although 
no years have passed since then, 
that Journal has not been published. 
Yet it has its fresh interest to 
readers generally and its particular 
value to social historians and to 
Scots, for with sincerity and grace 
Southey wrote down promptly what 
he saw, and he was no mean 
observer of his times. 



From the. portrait In/ T. PhlUips, R.A. 





BY C. H. HERFORD, M.A., Litt.D., F.B.A. 



First Edition 



The manuscript of this Journal, which is 
in the library of the Institution of Civil 
Engineers, was presented to that library in 
1885 by the late Sir Robert Rawlinson, 
K.C.B., who was President of the Institution 
in 1894-5. It bears a note by him to the 
effect that he purchased it in Keswick from 
the Rev. Mr Southey in August 1864. 

The exhibition of the manuscript on the 
occasion of the celebration, in June 1928, of 
the Centenary of the grant of a Royal Charter 
to the Institution — obtained largely through 
the instrumentality of Thomas Telford, its 
first President — drew attention to the interest 
of the Journal, not only as a contemporary 
account of the great works which Telford 
was then carrying out in Scotland, but also as 
the diary of a shrewd and travelled observer, 
depicting social and industrial conditions in 
Scotland in the early years of the nineteenth 

Tlie Council of the Institution therefore 


caused the Journal to be submitted to Mr 
John Murray, and, finding that he concurred 
as to the desirabiUty of making the Journal 
available to the general reader, they gladly 
accepted a proposal made by him to undertake 
its publication. 

The Council have been fortunate in secur- 
ing also the co-operation of Professor C. H. 
Herford, F.B.A., who very kindly consented 
to write an Introduction and add a few 
explanatory notes ; and they desire to record 
their indebtedness to him for this valued 


The Scottish Tour of 1819 was a pleasant 
incident in two busy lives. Robert Southey 
(b. 1774) and Thomas Telford {b. 1757) were 
both at the height of their careers. Each 
could claim to stand at the head of his 
profession. Southey was poet laureate ; and 
if few of his contemporaries would have 
admitted his equality with Byron or with 
Scott, and some would have altogether refused 
to compare him with Wordsworth, he had 
written some verse, especially some admirable 
ballads, which justifies that comparison, and 
he looked forward with complacent security 
to the renown awaiting him in the next 
and later generations. Shelley and Keats, 
whose glory so signally eclipses his to-day, 
were unknown or unheeded, though both 
were busy, this very year, with those master- 
pieces, Prometheus Unbound, The Cenci, and 
Hypeiion, which make 1819 probably the 


most illustrious year in the literary history 
of the century. William Blake, whose fame 
rivals even theirs to-day, was then an uncom- 
prehended genius, growing old, and working, 
almost friendless, in an obscure alley off the 
Strand. But Southey, though a man of 
sterling good sense, was not unaware of his 
status as court poet ; he had celebrated in 
that capacity the marriage of the Princess 
Charlotte, and was, in a few months, to voice 
the official and national mourning for the 
death of the King in an elaborate threnody. 
He could not foresee, it is true, during these 
pleasant weeks of autumn travel with an 
agreeable man of genius, either that event or 
that his Funeral Ode would immediately be 
obliterated by the brilliant ridicule of Byron's 
retort; still less, that he himself would in that 
second, retaliatory, "Vision of Judgment," be 
made to cut a laughable figure — caught up 
from his domestic tea-table at Keswick, to be 
arraigned as the author of 

" much blank verse and blanker prose, 
And more of both than anybody knows." 

To Southey 's prose at least, however, 
this was unjust. He was already the author 
of a number of biographies, some of them, 


like his Lives of Wesley and of Nelson, 
among the best in the language ; and his 
prose style is everywhere the simple, idio- 
matic, transparent way of writing which we 
may rehsh even in the day-to-day entries 
of the present Journals "style" being for 
Southey, by this time, as for most practised 
literary craftsmen, not a choice, but a habit. 
Thomas Telford, seventeen years Southey's 
senior, enjoyed a more unequivocal renown, 
and though now over sixty, some of his most 
brilliant and valuable achievements were still 
to come. He had made his way from humbler 
beginnings. Born in a shepherd's hut in 
Eskdale, Dumfriesshire, he picked up educa- 
tion by sheer aptness and industry, learnt 
some French, German, and Latin while a 
working stone-mason, and even, caught by 
the contagion of Burns's example, wrote a 
verse epistle to the poet under the name of 
"Eskdale Tam." Like Burns, too, and like 
Southey later, he was inflamed for a time 
by the zest of democratic ideas. Discerning 
persons presently discovered in the working- 
mason the master-builder and engineer ; and 
in the years when Southey was a boy at 
Westminster, planning a series of epics on 
the world's mythologies, Telford was building 


canals and enlarging houses as surveyor and 
engineer for the county of Salop. In 1806, 
he had been called in by the King of Sweden 
to build the imposing series of locks which 
convey navigation as by a staircase from the 
upper waters of the river Gota to the sea near 
Gothenburg. The fame of this work spread ; 
he was repeatedly consulted by the Russian 
Government, and received in 1808 a diamond 
ring from Alexander I. At home, too, an 
even vaster scheme had now been put in 
his hands. Communication in Scotland, 
especially in the Highlands, both by land and 
water, was still gravely defective. Telford, 
requested to report and recommend, drew up 
an elaborate scheme ; whereupon, in 1803, 
two Commissions were appointed, the one to 
deal with the canals, the other with roads, 
bridges, and harbours. Telford, nominally 
their official agent, and always, as he says 
in his Memoirs, on friendly terms with both 
Commissions, was in reality the moving and 
guiding brain of the whole complex of 

Among the most conspicuous of these 
works was the Caledonian Canal ; one of the 
most useful was the great road from Carhsle 
to Glasgow, which the traveller by rail to-day 


watches climbing and descending with him 
through a great part of his course. These 
canal and road works, and numerous bridges 
and harbour works, were being carried out in 
the North of Scotland when Telford, in the 
summer of 1819, took what was in fact 
primarily a tour of inspection. The Cale- 
donian Canal was opened three years later. 
For its creator, as for Southey, the year 
after their return had important things in 
store. But while to the poet laureate it 
brought the chief and most enduring literary 
disaster of his life, to Telford it brought his 
most brilliant and universally known engineer- 
ing feat. In 1820 the Menai Suspension 
Bridge was begun, and the most difficult 
link in the great mail road from London to 
Holyhead, of a then unexampled span, was 
thus successfully forged. Works of engineer- 
ing are subject in general to a greater danger 
of depreciation by the progress of scientific 
invention than are works of literature by 
changes of literary fashion. But in spite of 
the huge handicap of the introduction, almost 
on the morrow of this journey, of steam 
locomotion, the bridges and roads of Telford 
are far less touched with the blight of 
obsolescence than the essays and epics of 


Southey. Motor traction has even restored 
their vitality ; and to-day it is the railway 
companies which have reason to look with 
concern at the motor - car racing along 
Telford's road to Glasgow, and the builders 
of the tubular bridges who have occasion to 
fear the competition of his beautiful flying arch. 


The two men who thus became fellow- 
travellers ran little risk, then, of those pro- 
fessional jealousies which sometimes mar the 
intercourse of colleagues in the same walk of 
life. On the contrary, they were rather well 
provided with the opportunity of testing the 
truth of the maxim that unlike experience is 
the surest foundation of friendship. For the 
divergences ran deeper than mere difference 
of avocation. Southey, educated at West- 
minster and Balliol, had been fired by the 
Revolution, had dreamed of a colony on the 
Susquehanna where all men should be equal, 
and written a tragedy on Robespierre ; but 
presently, postponing revolutionary schemes 
sine die, had settled comfortably at Greta Hall, 
near Keswick, where he looked out across his 
lawn at the glorious scenery of Derwentwater; 
spending his days among his books, reading and 


writing, and amassing a vast and curious 
library ; scholar and man of letters, but also a 
generous and hospitable friend, whose large 
household sheltered not only his own growing 
family but the wife and children of a great 
brother-poet, Coleridge. Telford, as we have 
seen, had risen to eminence from homely begin- 
nings by hard labour and a resourceful brain, 
and, careless of outward luxury or domestic 
ease, lived alone over a London caf^ in the 
Strand. For all that, it is not hard to under- 
stand that the two men, though known to each 
other as yet only by repute, were upon cordial 
terms in a few minutes ^ ; or that they passed 
successfully through the ordeal of six weeks 
side by side, with scarcely a break, in a 
carriage by day, and sharing the same bedroom 
at night ; or that they parted at the end on 
terms of the heartiest friendship, and on 
Southey's side at least, with keen regret. 
After seeing Telford off in the coach for 
Edinburgh, he wrote on the last page of the 
Journal: "This parting company, after the 
thorough intimacy which a long journey pro- 
duces between fellow-travellers who like each 
other, is a melancholy thing. A man more 

1 P. 7. Southey portrays graphically Telford's engag- 
ing presence. 


heartily to be liked, more worthy to be 
esteemed and admired, I have never fallen 
in with ; and therefore it is painful to think 
how little likely it is that I shall ever see 
much of him again." 

Probably we need seek no subtler clue to 
this close and hearty relation than in the fact 
that both fellow-travellers, the Englishman and 
the Scot, were rich in the sterling qualities of 
brain, heart, and character, which the English 
and the Scottish types, at their best, have 
in common ; together with some uncommon 
in either. Both were shrewd and sagacious 
in matters outside their profession.^ But 
neither country has had many examples of the 
"magnanimity that he alone thought worthy 
of England," with which this great Scot 
freely imparted engineering methods to foreign 
engineers, or gave gratuitous professional help 
(as to the British Fisheries Board) himself. 

And both the laureate and the great 
engineer could honour in the other, beneath 
their more showy attributes, the thorough- 
ness of the good craftsman — the worker, 
whether in English prose or in steel and 

^ Southey relates how Telford often advised the Lairds 
in the management of their estates. A good instance is 


stone, unsurpassed in his kind in his day. 
" Telford's is a happy life," says his companion, 
elsewhere in the Journal, "everywhere making 
roads, building bridges and erecting harbours 
— works of sure, solid, permanent utility ; 
everywhere employing a great number of 
persons, selecting the most meritorious, and 
putting them forward in the world in his 
own way." 


The Tour, then, undertaken probably on 
the invitation of their common friend, John 
Rickman,^ occupied the later summer and 
early autumn weeks, from 17th August to 
1st October. Besides Southey, Telford, and 
Rickman, the party included Mrs Hickman 
and two children, with one or two other 
persons to whom the Journalist makes occa- 
sional allusion. The route, mainly determined 
naturally by Telford's works in progress, led 
from Edinburgh, where Southey, after travel- 
ling by chaise and coach from Keswick, was 
joined by his friend, through Stirling, Perth- 
shire, Dundee, Aberdeen, Nairn, Inverness ; 
and then, after sending the ladies and children 

1 See Note to p. 3. 


to await them at Inverness, far up into 
Sutherland and Caithness. From Inverness 
the whole party returned together by way 
of the great new waterway, with its sensational 
series of locks (called by the workmen, we 
are told, "Neptune's Staircase"), to Fort 
AViUiam, Ballachulish, Inveraray, and Glasgow, 
to Longtown, near the Border, where Telford 
took leave of his guests. It must often 
have recalled to Southey that of Johnson 
and Boswell, forty-six years before, which, 
however, he rarely mentions. There, too, 
an English visitor of literary renown had had 
a Scot for escort and guide, and left a 
notable record of his impressions. But 
Boswell, the loquacious and versatile show- 
man of his country's glories to the " Great 
Cham " of literature from London, and trans- 
parently proud of the part, stands at the 
opposite pole of national character to the 
famous engineer, who, though always present, 
is scarcely ever seen, and is heard only in a 
brief occasional quoted remark or witticism ; 
eloquent only in the handwriting he has left, 
like a taciturn giant, graven on the face of 
the country ; the speech of channeled docks 
and levelled roads, messages to the world not 
menacing but benign. 


Thanks to Southey, however, and to his 
careful and accurate Journal, Telford's taci- 
turnity does little harm. For the English 
visitor has translated not a little of that 
mute handwriting into his own graphic and 
vigorous prose. It is obvious that the man 
of letters was a little obsessed by the genius 
of the great engineer at his side, and rich as 
the Journal is in other kinds of observation, 
no ordinary tourist in quest (as it was then 
the fashion to be) of "the picturesque" 
would have described so indefatigably as he, 
the canals, roads, bridges, docks and harbours 
they pass. Even the poet's interest in the 
scenes of his own poetry is submerged in 
this new enthusiasm : he notices the Bell- 
Rock Lighthouse, off Dundee, with a bare 
allusion to the Abbot of his own famous 
ballad, to give us details of the " new revolving 
lights" and the 3 minutes they took to 
revolve.^ Even the engineering reader will 
appreciate his numerical statistics (obviously 
derived from Telford) of the dimensions, 
span, depth and so forth of the works he 
passes ; not least the little departures from 
symmetry or equality, such as the eye alone 
could not detect, designedly introduced, like 

1 P. 59. 



those which Ruskin extols in the Porches of 
San Marco at Venice ; but naturally here on 
practical grounds, not as an aesthetic refine- 
ment. So with the roads, the docks, and the 
canals.^ A fairly adequate report of Telford's 
bridge - building technique — the laying of 
foundations, materials, approaches, curvature 
of the roadway,^ and the rest, may be gathered 
from Southey's simple and interesting narra- 
tive ; and now and then, but without acrimony, 
he will note the inferiority of the bridges 
they pass built by other men, as those of 
Wade.^ Of Telford's roads — perhaps a still 
greater advance on his predecessor's work — 
he is yet more enthusiastic, and he describes 
the elaborate processes which conduced to 
their perfection with lively and interested 
concern. We often have occasion to realise 
how far Telford's technique was in advance 
of that then prevalent in any of the practical 
arts and crafts in Scotland, or perhaps else- 
where. His roads were, in effect, little 
threads of a higher civilisation interwoven 
by his dexterous hand into the somewhat 
coarse and unkempt woof of the culture of 

1 E.g., in describing the bridge over the Black Water. 
P. 147. 

2 Pp. 54, 116. 3 p. 98. 


the Scottish countryside. This is amusingly 
illustrated when Southey complains of a very 
rough and jolting post-chaise, which had left 
" my poor pantaloons " worse for wear, and 
his bones sore, though the road was "as 
smooth as a billiard-table." 

And there are interesting indications that, 
however stubbornly primitive methods may 
have held their own with the coach-builders, 
the county authorities and others in Scotland 
were by this date awakening to the value of 
Telford's roads. At Dundee he had even 
to escape a public dinner pressed upon him 
by the Provost.^ At Bonar Bridge, in Suther- 
land, a grateful laird had put up an inscription 
engraved in marble, but full, Southey unkindly 
says, of erroneous names and figures." All 
the Highland counties, with one exception, 
had by this date accepted the aid of the 
Commissioner in improving their road-systems. 
This exception was Perthshire, where the 
authorities, we are told, obstinately refused 
to allow them to interfere. And, in fact, a 
serious accident befell the coach and four 
almost as soon as they had crossed the county 
border ; when a horse stumbled upon a loose 
stone, fell with the postilion, and was dragged 
1 P. 57. 2 p. 131. 


with him some yards down the slope. Half 
an hour's delay was all the harm done ; but 
drivers had already a standing explanation 
and excuse for such mishaps : " Perthshire — 
we're in Perthshire, sir." Whatever their 
recalcitrance to Telford's plans, the Perthshire 
authorities would doubtless have preferred not 
to have it illustrated by an accident to the 
great engineer himself, particularly when he 
was bringing a literary "chiel' amang them 
takin' notes," even though it was reserved for 
Telford's professional colleagues, a century 
later, to "prent them."^ 

However, the converted counties had not 
always ceased to sin ; the roads of the West 
and North, where Telford had been most 
active, were better in general than those of 
the East ; and far worse things are reported 
of the roads near Banff, where heaps of 
stones were left in the roadway ; and even of 
Dumbarton, where the Commissioners had 

^ There were, however, sceptics in Perthshire about the 
new roads. A famous fiddler of those parts retorted, 
when some one was praising them : " They may praise 
your braid roads that gains by 'em ; for my part, when 
I'se gat a wee drappy at Perth, I'se just as lang again 
in getting hame by the new road as by the auld one." 
His zigzags were so much longer on the broad road ! 
Pp. 26, 49, 235. 


no power, than even in peccant Perth. ^ In 
the meantime, there are hints of the great 
revolution in motive power which was to 
make these amenities a matter of minor or 
local importance. For they saw steam-driven 
boats already on the Clyde,^ — the " foot-print 
on the sands," if you will. But whether he 
then foresaw railways or not, Telford was too 
great a man to think first, like Robinson, of his 
threatened hegemony (which for poor Robinson, 
to be sure, meant, or might mean, his life) ; 
and, as we know, he was eventually to go far 
to recover it. 

And hegemony — the hegemony of a great 
civilising potentate — is the only word for the 
authoritative rule which Telford had now for 
some sixteen years exercised over communica- 
tions in Northern Scotland. He was feared 
as well as honoured ; if Dundee wanted to 
banquet him, there were landlords who tried 
to bribe his agents to divert a new road from 
their estates, or make it cross them to their 
private advantage. In such matters, as well 
as in the general, very effectual, supervision 
of a vast ramifying plan, Telford was much 
indebted to two lieutenants, whose names 
1 Pp. 81, 247. 2 p. 253. 


figure frequently in these pages, although, 
like himself, they are seldom seen, and whose 
very real merits their chief would have been 
the last to wish to have obscured by his own. 
Indeed, it is obviously his own eulogies, 
however incidentally confirmed by Southey's 
observations, that have flowed over into the 
Journalist's faithful pages. Thus, "at Cullen," 
he records, "we took leave of that obliging, 
good-natured, useful and skilful man, Mr 
Gibb." Much more is heard and said of the 
chief aide-de-camp, John Mitchell. Telford 
called him his " Tartar," from " his cast of 
countenance" and "his tartar-like mode of 
life," for "in his oflSce of overseer of the 
roads under the management of the Com- 
missioners, he travels on horseback not less 
than 6000 (we are later told 8800) miles a 
year." Telford had found him, near Inverness, 
as he himself had once been found, as a work- 
ing mason, who could scarcely write or read, 
but noticing his practical gifts and force of 
character had brought him forward till he 
was now Inspector of all the Highland roads.^ 
This was written soon after Southey's first 
acquaintance with him at Bervie, where the 
two " aides-de-camp " had come to meet their 
1 P. 62. 


chief. By the time they got round to 
Dumbarton, where Mitchell took his leave, 
Southey has had occasion to know his value 
better, and writes the warm tribute to him 
which will be found in one of his last 
pages : " Perhaps no man ever possessed the 
inflexible integrity, fearless temper and inde- 
fatigable frame requisite to his office in 
greater perfection than John Mitchell." He 
compares him to Talus, the terrible, inflexible, 
silent wielder of a club, who attends Spenser's 
Knight of Justice. " No fear or favour in 
the course of fifteen years have ever made 
him swerve from the fair performance of 
his duty, tho' the lairds with whom he has 
had to deal have omitted no means to make 
him enter into their views, and do things, 
or leave them undone, as might suit their 
humour or interest. They have attempted 
to cajole and to intimidate him, equally in 
vain. They have repeatedly preferred com- 
plaints against him in the hope of getting 
him removed from his office, and a more 
flexible person appointed in his stead ; and 
they have not infrequently threatened him 
with personal violence. Even his life has 
been menaced. But Mitchell holds right on. 
In the midst of a most laborious life he has 


. . . become a good accomptant . . . and 
carries on his official correspondence in an 
able manner. . . . Nor has this life, and the 
exposure to all winds and weathers, and the 
temptations, either of company or of solitude 
at the houses in which he puts up, led him 
into any irregularities. . . . Neither has his 
elevation in the slightest degree inflated him. 
He is still the same temperate, industrious, 
modest, unassuming man, as when he . . . 
first attracted Mr Telford's notice."^ 

Though the course of the Tour was 
determined by Telford's operations, and the 
inspection of them was naturally a leading 
preoccupation of both men, the Journal is 
very far from being merely an account of 
roads, bridges, and canals. Southey was a cul- 
tivated, refined, and very intelligent observer, 
travelled, well-bred, with decided convictions, 
political and religious, and a fair stock of deep- 
seated, but, on the whole, harmless prejudices. 
He had the tastes of an English country 

1 P. 252. A tragical accident to a ferry-boat, which 
Mitchell escaped only by arriving just too late to embark, 
illustrates the other perils of his official life. It is related 
on p. 129. 


gentleman, and while ready to put up with 
poor accommodation and poor fare, when 
there was no choice, had a nice discrimination 
in inns and in viands. It was only dirt and 
squalor that provoked his undisguised disgust/ 
But deeper than these traits lay his genuine 
interest in the social and economic conditions 
which the Tour enabled him to observe, and 
the enduring value and interest of the Journal 
— since the professional reader will study 
Telford's technique elsewhere — lies in the 
picture it gives, in the scores of anecdotes 
and acute observations, of the reaction of this 
network of good waterways and landways 
upon the economic and social progress of 
the country. Southey watches the gradual 
percolation, through these channels, of civilised 
amenities with unqualified approval. Twenty 
years before, he had passed for a " Romantic," 
and been classed, with Wordsworth and 
Coleridge, as one of the " Lake School " who 
gloried in Nature undesecrated by the finger 
of Man. There was indeed by this time a 
sham Romanticism, nowhere more rampant 
than in the Highlands, and Southey pillories 
with intelligible sarcasm one of the absurd 
"puffs "of "Wonderful and Interesting Scenery" 

^ Cf, liis] anathemas upon begging (p. 41), "philabegs." 


which he encountered by Loch Earn.^ But 
the Journal contains scarcely a vestige of this 
sentiment. He is cheered by the sight of 
cultivated land ; the " Wild " so far as he is 
concerned, only "calls," like the "bad road," 
for the attentions of the agriculturist and the 
engineer. Sometimes the new facilities of 
travel and traffic dove-tail in amusingly with 
unexpected elegances at some remote High- 
land inn. Thus at Clashmore, in the wilds 
of Caithness, he was agreeably surprised, at 
breakfast, when the meal was served in "a 
tasteful and handsome set of Worcester 
china." Telford explained that " before these 
roads were made," he had met some Worcester 
people "with a cartload of crockery, which 
they got over the mountains how they could ; 
when they had sold all their ware, they laid 
out the purchase - money on black cattle, 
which they drove to the South." ^ What had 
been before a daring and unusual adventure, 
the new roads made, or were in the course 
of making, an affair of everyday. 

So with wool, and other inland and upland 

products, now by the new roads easily brought 

down to the coast. At Bonar Bridge, on 

the Dornoch Firth, in Sutherland, they saw 

1 P. 37. 2 p, 141^ 


" considerable quantities of wool, in packs, . . . 
lying . . . ready for shipping. These roads 
have given life to the country." ^ Not always 
by fining purses. The farmers saved, but the 
blacksmiths lost.^ 

They also smoothed the path of the 
smuggler, whose calling was further assisted, 
as we learn elsewhere, by indiscreet attempts 
to promote the regular trade. The bewilder- 
ment, soon turned into joy, which the 
Telfordian bridges occasionally produced in 
the simpler inhabitants of the West Highland 
countryside, is vividly illustrated by the story 
of the Sutherland man whose father, having 
been drowned in the ferry-boat accident of 1809, 
while crossing the Meikle Ferry, he refused 
ever to use the ferry again ; being thus cut off 
by the long Dornoch Firth from the south, 
until Telford flung his costly and difficult 
iron arch across. He described his first 
sight of it. " As I went along the road 
by the side of the water, I could see no 
bridge ; at last I came in sight of something 
like a spider's web in the air — if this be it, 
thought I, it will never do ! But presently 
I came upon it, and oh, it is the finest thing 
that ever was made by God or man ! " ^ 
1 P. 142. -^ P. 237. 3 P. 129. 


Apart from engineering works, Southey 
had a keen eye for buildings of every kind. 
The poor bothies and " black houses " of the 
West Highlands offend him both as homes 
for men and as features of scenery. On the 
other hand, he is impressed by Scotland's 
stone - built towns, especially by the fine 
granite architecture of Aberdeen ; and finds 
that the possession of such materials has 
stimulated taste and ambition in building. 
"The Scotch regard architectural beauty 
in their private houses as well as in their 
public edifices much more than we do." But 
Southey betrays his ignorance of much noble 
architecture in the Baltic Hanse towns and 
elsewhere, when he adds that to make fine 
buildings of brick is like " making a silk purse 
out of a sow's ear."^ On the other hand, he 
notes with disgust that a town of the size 
and pretensions of Dundee was not paved. ^ 

Of the kirks, new and old, he has little 
good to say ; but frankly admires, as " a great 
ornament to the City," a "new Episcopal 
Church, with a rich Gothic front," at 
Aberdeen. The praise is, in our ears, 
equivocal, for these were anterior to the days 
even of " Brother Pugin," the redoubtable 
1 P. 77. 2 p. 59, 


builder of pseudo-Gothic Churches.^ He 
commends, too, the new Church in Charlotte 
Square, Edinburgh, as a sign that "the 
people of Edinburgh are beginning to have 
a taste for ornamental Churches.^ 

Of Glasgow, he has little good to say, though 
he thinks Argyle Street one of the best streets 
in Great Britain; and he finds painful evidence 
in the kirks of two defects of the national 
character — uncleanness and bad taste.^ 


But Southey's interest was also alive to 
all kinds of social fact with which his journey, 
with an extremely well-informed companion 
by his side, made him acquainted. He notices, 
for instance, a gradual but slow improvement 
in housing ; * and he has everywhere an eye 
for agriculture. A whole chapter on the 
landlords, their property and their tenants, 
in the Scottish Highlands might be written 
by stringing together Southey's observations 
and anecdotes ; and even an Adam Smith, had 
he written half a century later, might have 
gleaned details from the pages of this poet 
laureate. Now we have a glimpse of a feckless 
landlord, such as the Duke of Montrose, who 
1 P. 77. 2 p. 8. 3 P. 255. 4 p. 33. 


sold the woods on Ben Venue for " the paltry 
sum of £200," the purchasers making £3000 
by their bargain. " It seems incredible," he 
comments indignantly, "that for such a sum 
the Duke should have incurred . . . the dis- 
grace of disfiguring so far as it was in his 
power to disfigure, the most beautiful spot in 
the whole island of Great Britain." ^ Both the 
castigation and the eulogy mean something, 
coming from one who was both a pillar of 
Toryism and an enthusiastic lover of his 
English Lakes. Another nobleman, the 
Duke of Gordon, is rebuked for the opposite 
failing, — of understanding the advantages of 
ownership rather too well ; for after letting 
the salmon fishery at Fochabers for £7000 a 
year (a sum which Southey thought "almost 
incredible "), he stipulated that he was himself 
to be supplied at 6d. a pound, whereas "the 
people of the place can only obtain it as a 
jfavour, and at the price of a shilling." This, 
comments the Tory Journalist, "is a great 

1 P. 31. Elsewhere;, these inroads on the beautiful 
Highland woods were directly due to legitimate but 
apparently unconnected needs, the growth of fishery 
causing the resort to birch -staves for the barrels, 
p. 146. A still more pitiful tale of timber-cutting and 
reckless waste is told of the laird of Loch Arkeg, near the 
canal, p. 207. 


injustice and vexation ; growing out of a feudal 
right, in the origin of which no such wrong 
could possibly have been contemplated."^ But 
the offending lairds were not all Dukes. The 
failure of "a Mr Dick" to keep open an inn 
on his property, the wild region of the north- 
west facing Skye, reduced the travellers to 
serious straits. Dick had quarrelled with his 
tenant, dismissed him, and then, in spite of 
his contract, closed the house. There was no 
other opportunity of changing or feeding the 
horses for 70 miles. To seek hospitality 
with Dick was out of the question, since he 
was one of the lairds who had made trouble 
with Mitchell.^ How the travellers solved 
this dilemma the reader may be left to gather 
from the Journal itself. Not much less 
churlish was the action of the landowners of 
StrathpefFer, who profited by " poor Davy's " 
reclamation of their marsh. ^ Here and there, 
on the contrary, a stubborn commoner pre- 
vents a town benefiting by the generosity of 
a Duke, as with the blacksmith of Dunkeld 
and the Duke of Atholl — a British analogue 
to the famous Miller of Potsdam.* 

But petty acts of local folly or greed do not 
withdraw Southey's attention from the large 
1 P. 90. 2 p, i55_ 3 p. 145. 4 p. 46. 


economic and human problems which the 
more northern Highlands then presented, and 
still present. The process of substituting 
large sheep-farms for small holdings was then 
going on upon the huge estates of the 
Marquis of Stafford, occupying two-fifths of 
the vast county of Sutherland, and was 
creating a lively ferment in the whole 
country. The small tillers clung stubbornly 
to their homes, which were destroyed by fire 
if they refused to be ejected. The economists 
in general approved this policy — on purely 
economic grounds. And Southey feels the 
force of their argument. The civilised gentle- 
man in him revolts at the sight of these 
"homes," — "black houses" as they were 
popularly called ; and he grieves that these 
"man-sties" should be inhabited, not "as 
in Ireland" (here Southey's blind animus 
against the Irish finds free vent) "by a race 
of ignorant and ferocious barbarians, who can 
never be civilised if they are not regenerated," 
but by "a quiet, thoughtful, contented, 
religious people, susceptible of improvement, 
and willing to be improved." None the less, 
his just instinct and also his good sense are 
repelled by the use of force, however " legal," 
to compel these people suddenly to enter 


occupations, as fishermen or whatnot, to which 
they had never been accustomed.^ 

And Southey's impressions of the Highland 
laird, were, on the whole, unflattering. " He 
partakes much more of the Irish character" 
(and for Southey this is damning) " than I had 
ever been taught to suppose. He has the 
same profusion, the same recklessness, the 
same rapacity ; but he has more power, and 
he uses it worse ; and his sin is the greater, 
because he has to deal with a sober, moral, 
well-disposed people, who, if they were treated 
with common kindness, or even common 
justice, would be ready to lay down their lives 
in his service." ^ But he is ready to recognise 
the generosity and large purpose which might 
underhe even an oppressive policy ; perhaps 
the more ready when, as in this very case, 
it could be ascribed to the advantages arising 
from "English capital and English ingenuity." 
For the Marchioness of Stafford, English by 
marriage, receiving less than £6000 a year 
from her vast but largely barren Scottish 
possessions, devoted not only the whole of 
this sum, but an equal amount from the 
Marquis's English estates, to improving them.^ 
A yet more generous, but doubtless quite 
1 P. 137. 2 p, 208. 3 P. 138. 



exceptional use of landed power, is recorded 
of Baillie, M.P. for Bristol ; the tenants were 
here the rural workers, who knew how to put 
it to the best use/ 


A far more radical and audacious intrusion 
of alien ideas and methods was encountered by 
Southey on the last day of his Tour. From 
the gloaming of this half-feudal Highland 
world, with its tangle of conflicting traditions 
and prejudices, the laird and the bothie, 
the "trouse" and the philabeg, clan-custom 
and British law, he passed suddenly into 
the crisp, clear, hard daylight of a benevolent 
but absolute autocracy, when he entered, 
at New Lanark, the Mills of Richard Owen. 
Owen's great experiment has often since been 
described, and by more technical pens than 
Southey's. But his description is still interest- 
ing. The poet laureate was received and enter- 
tained by Owen with the utmost courtesy, 
and expected to stay a week. The elaborate 
buildings, in their deep dell, reminded him of 
convents he had seen in Portugal. He noticed 
with approval the excellent ventilation of the 
workrooms, the provision for the sale of 
1 P. 169. 


food, and, with a touch of sarcasm, the 
lecture-hall, for " the formation of character." 
The spectacle of hundreds of boys drilled 
to go through manoeuvres with precision dis- 
pleased him ; he had " been in Utopia " 
himself, but never, he protests, so far as 
this, and he recalls a story he had heard of 
cows in Holland, compelled by a mechanical 
device to wag their tails in unison. And 
Owen, he insists, with all his beautiful and 
fatherly benevolence, "deceives himself."^ 
Men are not "human machines," and cannot 
be governed, still less reformed, on that 
principle ; and as for the " formation of 
character," Owen's methods would only destroy 
it. Yet he admires and likes the man ; 
and his " Chinese " methods might well be 
applied to the Yahoos of our industrial towns. 
At any rate, his "variety in society" might 
as well be encouraged as Quakerism ! ^ 


A new set of problems affecting the 
economics of the Highland population relates 
to the various forms of intervention by the 
Government. On the whole, Southey gives 
us a picture of a large-minded and generous 
1 P. 263. 2 p. 2G0 ff. 



policy, highly beneficial in most cases, but 
marred sometimes by imperfect insight into 
local conditions, or incomplete realisation of 
the resom'ces of native "ability." The vast 
enterprise which Telford was engaged in 
carrying out was itself, of course, a salient 
example of this policy. But it went much 
further. The Government was clearly making 
an honest attempt to reconcile the wild 
regions, whose revolts had twice been so 
savagely suppressed during the previous 
century, by improving their material well- 
being. In this spirit the estates of " rebels," 
confiscated after the revolt, had now been 
restored. A more judicious act of generosity 
was the offer to provide half the cost of 
roads, bridges and other works of public 
utility, provided that the locality or the land- 
owners raised the remainder. Of these and 
other aspects of this policy, we hear frequently 
in the Journal. The Commissioners spent 
money with the far-seeing liberality which is 
the best economy. Having to house the 
workmen on the Canal, for instance, they 
built houses which Southey's critical eye 
pronounced "very neat" and able to "serve 
as good models to the people of the country." ^ 
1 P. 207. 


An interesting operation by which a hundred 
miles of good road were made, at half cost, in 
the wild country of Skye, is described at p. 158. 

But the consequences of the Government's 
benevolent intentions were not always happy. 
Thus the allowance of salt duty-free for the 
fisheries had two results — it encouraged the 
illicit salt trade,^ and it encouraged the fishers 
to overload their barrels with this cheap 
privileged product to the detriment both of 
the salt trade and the fish. The restoration 
of the forfeited estates, again, was, in 
Southey's view in part unjust, since only 
the forfeitures after the rebellion of 1745, not 
those which followed the "more excusable" 
rebellion of 1715, were affected ; and also 
inexpedient in the public interest, since they 
were thus transferred from the far wiser and 
more generous administration of the Crown to 
the rule of these Highland lairds of whom 
Southey, and clearly Telford also, thought 
so ill.- 

On the other hand, in the recent policy 
of the Government, he finds everywhere tokens 
of "farthing wisdom." A slight example is 
the equipment of Telford's fine Craigellachie 

1 P. 192. 2 p. 208. 3 p, 94^ 



But there was one branch of Highland 
industry with which Southey, as a traveller, 
was brought into peculiarly close and intimate 
contact, and which was the object of some 
of his liveliest and most feeling remarks. The 
inns where they put up, between Edinburgh 
and Caithness, and back by the wilder West 
country to Glasgow, were naturally varied 
enough. And Southey was a travelled man, 
and fastidious in travel. He was hardy, was 
quite ready to rough it when need was, but 
had a nice taste in the different varieties of 
accommodation at bed and board. He went 
by the name of " The Wolf," as he pleasantly 
tells us, for his prowess at meals of every 
kind ; and if not precisely an epicure, took 
undisguised pleasure — as greater poets have 
been known to do — in an excellent table. 
The Scottish breakfasts, — in particular, with 
their Findon haddock, and sweetmeats, — he 
notices with continual relish. But he severely 
reprehends the Scotch custom of cooking 
salmon in slices and (at Aberdeen) that of 
cutting off the crust of loaves. At times he 
tastes, often with satisfaction, dishes new to 
him, such as " sheep's head broth " and 


"scones." The bed accommodation is more 
questionable. The double-bedded room which 
he regularly shares with Telford is sometimes 
of stately dimensions (25 feet by 20 feet), but 
the beds not seldom " filthy " ; near Nairn he 
has one in which "all possible faults of bed- 
making were exemplified to a nicety." He 
groans at his "poor Scotch allowance of 
water," and is once kept awake by a clock 
outside his door which "chimed eight sweet 
bells every quarter," an "inconvenience" 
forgotten, however, in the capital breakfast 
which followed.^ 

Slight but graphic vignettes of the inn- 
keepers, male and female, are scattered 
throughout. Such are his host near Glengarry, 
whom he dubs "Field Marshal Boniface," 
and, per contra, the vulgar hostess from 
Portsmouth, at Grantown, who got all her 
supplies from Nairn, " for I never depends for 
anything upon this place " ; and best of all 
the " rememberable " hostess of Tain (yet 

1 A detail not without hygienic interest is that the 
conveniences which he calls by "the clearly French 
name commodiie (though the French have not much 
cleanliness to spare)," were now to be found in every 
Scotch inn at which they stayed except one. One even 
contained a stove ! (p. 93). 


farther north), *'an elderly woman, somewhat 
Flemish in figure," who, '* from real kindness 
of heart, and not from any design of enhanc- 
ing her charges, loads her table with whatever 
her larder supplies. When Mrs Hickman, 
in her kind manner, addressed her 'my good 
lady,' she replied . . . 'Nay, I'se nae gude 
lady, na but a poor woman.' " ^ 


Southey's Journal has, then, a double 
interest as a record (much fuller than could 
here be indicated) of Telford's engineering 
works, and as a sketch, summary enough 
but very varied and precise, of the social 
conditions of the Highland countryside in 
1819. But the faithful and minute reporter 
was himself a considerable personage in the 
world of English letters and politics. How 
far is this side of him reflected in his Book of 
Travel ? On the whole, as was hinted at 
the outset, remarkably little. Southey was 
Telford's companion, and his keen and alert 
mind, without being obsessed by the powerful 
intelligence beside him, followed most readily 
the directions which that preoccupation 
suggested ; while his own special pursuits and 
1 P. 123. 


distinctions, without being forgotten, slip into 
the background, receiving now and then a 
shght and perfunctory nod as the JournaUst 
drives by, with his eyes on those exemplary 
roads and bridges I 

Southey was, in the first place, we 
know. Poet Laureate. Laureates do not 
now commonly wear their wreaths, and he 
suffered during this tour from a tumour in 
the head (for which he sought the aid of 
various Scottish surgeons, competent and 
otherwise), which would have made it incon- 
venient to wear it, had he been so disposed. 
But it is clear that he had, not only in a 
literal sense, left it at Keswick. Once or 
twice a few people " ran after my Poetship " 
and the Literary Society of Banff made 
him an Honorary Member, and sent him 
a magnificent Diploma, together with a 
catalogue of their library of 1000 "very 
ordinary" books, with twelve pages of their 
Rules and Regulations.^ His interest in 
poetry or poets is rarely betrayed. At 
Edinburgh he meets with Wilson (Christopher 
North), Lockhart, whose Petei^'s Lettei^s had 
just come out, and Black, the biographer of 
Tasso.^ He visits the tomb of Beattie (of 
1 P. 106. 2 p. 16. 


The Minst7'el) who had died sixteen years 
before, and foresees that the poets of the 
next generation will regard his memory as 
he regards Beattie's, — a prophecy doubtfully 
fulfilled.^ By Loch Katrine he makes a 
perfunctory reference to " Scott's poem," the 
literary sensation of the whole country nine 
years before. But he has nowhere an allusion 
to the immeasurably greater poetry of 
Wordsworth's first Scottish Tour (1803), 
accessible to everyone in the volumes of 
1807.^ The " bookish " man crops up oftener. 
At Dundee he makes the acquaintance of 
a bookseller, and is shown in one of the Kirks 
cases of books 200 years old, in Enghsh, 
Latin, and Hebrew ; but without explaining 
them further. At Aberdeen he finds his 
surgeon "reading Aristotle in Greek." At 
Inverness he lingers over the portrait of a 
sort of later Dr Johnson, who had superin- 
tended the Canal there, but was better known 

1 P. 72. 

2 He quotes one of the Lyrical Ballads (p. 221), and 
mentions with approval, but on moral not literary 
grounds, the sonnet addressed by Wordsworth after his 
second Scottish Tour (1814) to Gillespie of Edinburgh 
{Works, p. 539). His great Trossachs sonnet, "There's 
not a nook within this solemn pass," was not yet written 
when Southey was there. 


as a cynical humorist, and called "The 
Walking Library."^ Southey had travelled, 
when young, in Spain and Portugal, and 
written largely on both ; allusions to these 
countries, their scenery and institutions, are 
common. A "square" is often a plaza 
(Spanish), resting-places remansos (Spanish), 
a country-house a quinta (Portuguese) ; an 
old dirk, yam (as in Brazil). At Edinburgh he 
buys some French books of South American 
Travel.^ Southey, again, who as a schoolboy 
had planned a series of epics on the historic 
mythologies, and had largely carried them 
out, was a curious student of modern forms 
of religious belief, however unlike that to 
which he was, as a sound English Churchman, 
attached. He had written an excellent Life 
of Wesley. He talks with his Dundee book- 
seller, not about Claverhouse but about the 
" Glassites," a sect numerous in that town. 
At Montrose he buys a pamphlet about 
the religious visionary, Joanna Southcote, 
and Erskine's Gospel Sonnets. ^ He relished 
the humours of Celtic Bibliolatry ; — the 
Chieftain of the House of Grant who 
supported the antiquity of his clan by 
quoting Gen. vi. 4 : " Now there were Grants 
1 P. 111. 2 P. 12. 3 p. 61. 


upon the earth in those days," having altered 
i to 7\ Still quainter, in a grimmer key, is 
the blend of clan savagery with learned piety 
in his story of the Glengarry monument to 
the Chieftain, with the seven heads of 
decapitated foes about him, and an inscription 
in English, French, Gaelic, and Latin, duly 
copied by Southey.^ The humours of the 
"perfervid genius" of the Lowland Scot are 
pleasantly illustrated in the story of Dr 
Wilkie.*^ But he denounces fiercely the ruin 
wrought by the Covenanters in so many 
Scottish abbeys, and finds the later repairs 
often clumsy or perverse. His political 
animus is not aggressive. The news of the 
"massacre" in Peterloo, Manchester, reached 
him this very August, but his concern is lest 
needless violence had been used against the 
populace.^ And a pillar of the Tory Quarterly 
Review, who was also a lover of "two-penny 
bottled beer," may be forgiven if he finds a 
stale bottle of this as vapid as an " old number 
of the Edinburgh Review, the Qtiarterlys 
Whig rival." 

But Southey, man of books. Quarterly 
reviewer, and notable biographer as he was, 
was also, for the critics, in Byron's scoffing 
1 P. 197 fF. 2 p. 50. 3 p. 17. 


phrase, a "Lake Poet," and we expect some 
signs of enthusiasm for " Nature " as he drives 
through the grandest and wildest scenery of 
the Highlands. There is little. He approves 
of a landscape or disapproves, but always in 
measured terms ; there is no touch of explicit 
" poetry " in the Journal from end to end. 
His boldest phrase is the declaration, as he 
watches a sunset on Loch Linnhe, that it 
almost persuades him to believe in Ossian ! 
But Ossian was " faked " and Nature was not 
audible to him when she spoke in those weird 
primeval tones. He shrank from the " savage" 
and "terrible" grandeur of Glencoe, preferred 
cultivated fields to barren heath, and when a 
waterfall or a precipice was in question, com- 
plained if the owner had not made a path to 
a safe point of view, or complimented him if 
he had. For the rest, although he puts Loch 
Katrine and Ben Venue above every other 
scene known to him in the world, he is quite 
decided in his preference of the Lake country, 
for mountain scenery, to Scotland, and he 
takes his friends by a detour, on their return 
to Keswick, in order that they may approach 
it with the magnificent background of Borrow- 
dale in full view. But if we ask, in parting 
with Southey and his Journal, where his 


charm and character as a writer may best be 
seen, it may well be in moments of meditation, 
like those in which, standing by one of those 
communal burial-grounds which exhibit, in its 
most moving light, the proverbial "clannish- 
ness " of the Scot, he regrets the rapid passing 
away of a state of society to which "these 
quiet mansions of the dead " belong. 




1. Tarn Wadling . . . Sir Gaiva'm. An adventure of 
Sir Gawain at this Tarn is the subject of one of 
the medieval Arthurian romances. 

3. Barclay's Argenis ; a political allegory written in 
good Latin prose, which gained for its author the 
approval and favour of James I. It was translated 
by Ben Jonson. 

3. Rickman (" R." in the sequel). John Rickman, 
Telford's biographer and one of his executors, 
was Clerk Assistant of the House of Commons. 
He was also Secretary to the Commissioners for 
the Caledonian Canal, and had probably under- 
taken this tour with Telford in an official capacity. 
Rickman was also a friend and correspondent of 
Southey's. A selection from their correspondence 
has lately been published. Rickman also con- 
tributed to Southey's Essays, Moral and Political 

iff. Peters Letters to his Kinsfolk. This was perhaps 
the most brilliant of the literary mystifications 
for which Blackioood's Magazine (founded in 1817) 
was now famous, or notorious. It was anonymous, 
and was ascribed both to Wilson (Christopher 
North) and to Lockhart, probably its real author. 
It purported to be a collection of the letters of a 

xlviii NOTES 


" Dr Morris of Aberystwyth " (a real person) to 
his friends at home. The title parodied the 
"Letters of Paul to his Kinsfolk," Scott's name 
for his own letters written home after his visit to 
Waterloo in 1815. Loekhart's letters, containing 
caustic portraits of notable figures in Edinburgh 
society, included one of Scott himself, described by 
" Dr Morris " after a mythical visit to Abbotsford, 
a piece of delicate appreciation, not without gentle 
malice, which open the way to their later intimacy. 
Blackwood's, pronouncedly Tory in politics, was of 
course, in Southey's view, "of right principles in 
most things of impoi'tance," though its methods 
offended his sense of literary etiquette. On Gillies 
(or Gillespie), see Introduction, p. xlii note. 

8. my South American tribes. Southey, then the principal 
English authority on South America, as well as 
on the mother countries Spain and Portugal 
themselves, had recently completed his gigantic 
History of Brazil (1810-19). Other indications of 
this interest of Southey's are frequent in the 
12. Mr James Hope was Law Agent for the Com- 
missioners in Edinburgh. 

16. Mr Gillies. See note to p. 4. 

48. of locomotive celebrity. The phrase might be ambiguous 
to-day; but in 1819, Southey could safely allude 
thus to the moving wood in Macbeth. 

59. The Inchcape Rock. Southey's well-kno\\ai ballad on 
the legend had been written and published many 
years before. 

NOTES xlix 


61. Joanna Southcoti or Southcole, a phenomenon of 
popular religion at the beginning of the nineteenth 
century. Southey had given a lively account of 
her and of similar curiosities of English life in 
his imaginary Letlers of Espriella (1807), supposed 
to be written from England by a young Spaniard. 
The conterajDorary, Peter s Letters to his Kinsfolk, 
by Lockhart, which he encountered on this 
journey, were of the same nature. 
61. Ferdinand. King Ferdinand VII. of Spain, who had 
been restored to the throne after the expulsion of 
the French, in 1812. His reign, one of the most 
flagrant in Spanish history, was closed by the Revolu- 
tion of 1820, a few months after Southey wrote. 
112. Edith . . . Cuthhert, Southey's wife and son. The 
latter afterwards edited his father's works. It was 
presumably in deference to Southey's wish that 
the Journal, which he later sold, as stated in the 
Pi'eface, was not included. 
133. Vitrified Forts. Southey had probably read the 
explanation of these forts, first advanced by John 
Williams in 1777, and now generally accepted. 
Fire was applied to certain rocks as a means of 
fusing them into a solid mass for purposes of 
defence. In Scotland these forts are mostly 
found near the sea, and are thought to have been 
defences against the Northmen. They have since 
been found also in Germany and France. Some 
rocks are, however, not easily fusible ; such are 
the conglomerates of the Old Red Sandstone. In 
these cases, pieces of fusible rock were brought 
from a distance and carried to the top. Among 
these last was Craig Phadraic, the actual fort 
visited by Southey. {Encycl. Brit, s.v.) 



140. U'ouse. Southey's language, though scarcely dis- 
tinguishable in idiom or vocabulary from that of 
to-day, contains a few slightly archaic forms and 
expressions, such as this. He uses forms like 
hither, where here would be used in familiar 
English. So risque (risk). 

158. Brown, "a. villainous adventurer, by name Brown." 
Southey, or his informants, appears to have 
confused this person, who "made his appearance 
in these parts some years ago," with Lancelot 
Brown, the well-known advocate and practitioner 
of '^ picturesque " gardening in England in the 
first half of the eighteenth century, commonly 
known as '^ Capability Brown." 

212. Parallel Roads. These absolutely level terraces, 
at absolutely equal vertical distances apart, were 
not roads but old beaches, a geological doctrine 
then unknown. This explanation, now universally 
accepted, was recognised not long after the date of 
this Journal, by Lyell and other geologists. 

264. Et in Utopia ego, Southey is checked in the midst 
of his sagacious criticism of Owen's Utopia, by 
the reflection that he had once been a Utopian 
himself, i.e., in the days of the " Pantisocracy " 
scheme, with Coleridge and Lovell, twenty-four 
years before. He had long abandoned revolutionary 
ideas in every form ; but he insists that he had 
never, like Owen, regarded men as machines. 



Robert Southey. From the portrait by T. 
Phillips, R.A. . . Frontispiece 

Thomas Telford. From the portrait by Samuel 
Lane in the possession of the Institution of 
Civil Engineers .... 8 


Tuesday, A^igust 17. — Reached Edinburgh 
in the Carhsle Mail at J past 5 a.m. On the 
way I admired the unusual and imposing 
appearance of the New Courts at Carlisle, one 
on each side the entrance of the City from the 
South. They tell me that the architect in- 
tended to unite them by an arch supporting 
a cupola, but that Lord Lonsdale, upon whom 
the obloquy of the expenditure would have 
fallen, objected to it as causing a heavy 
addition of unnecessary cost. Tarn Wadling, 
which I had hitherto only seen from the top 
of Skiddaw and of Saddleback, was to me an 
object of more interest. I had always half- 
purposed to visit it in pilgrimage for Sir 
Gawain's sake. It is a pleasanter spot than 
I had been lead to expect, the ground about 
it being agreably varied, and on one side 
there is a fine dark hill. The Tarn itself 
would just deserve to be called a fine piece of 


water, were it in a park. I could not perceive 
from a mail-coach window whence it derives 
its waters. There is a good deal of new 
cultivation near, adjoining what my friend 
Calvert calls his back settlements. 

I had over-painted in recollection the scenery 
upon the Esk between Longtown and Lang- 
holme. Less of the road is beautiful than I 
thought I remembered it to be ; yet it is 
every where pleasing. The Esk where you 
first see it flows in the midst of a wide bed of 
gravel ; higher up the bed becomes rocky, 
and the banks are high, steep and wooded 
with old trees. The road crosses it thrice, 
and there are two more bridges at Langholme. 
On the other hand, I had not sufficiently 
admired the Esk-dale scenery north of Lang- 
holme : it has a quiet sober character, a some- 
what melancholy kind of beauty, in accord 
with autumn, evening and declining life ; 
green hills high enough to assume something 
of a mountainous sweep and swell ; green 
pastures where man has done little, but where 
little more seems to be wanting ; a clear 
stream, and about that number of cattle which 
one might suppose belonged to the inhabitants 
for their own use, and were not bred for the 
drover. The higher ground near Mosspaul 


Inn I had borne in mind perfectly ; and here 
the Ewes, one of the two streams which join 
the Esk at Langholme, and which I had 
followed upward from that town, becomes a 
mere runnel, over which a child might step. 
It was dark before I reached Hawick, so that 
I missed much of Tiviotdale. At Hawick, 
being a solitary passenger, I made tea for 
myself, and read Barclay's Aj'genis (my pocket 
companion) in a comfortless room. Yet in 
chearful company I should have noticed for 
approbation the proper plainness and inexpen- 
siveness of the furniture. And the Landlady 
was a civil, attentive person, bearing in her 
countenance and manners marks of a kind, 
motherly nature, as if she were one to whom 
a sick traveller might trust himself. 

Edinburgh was alive when I entered it ; 
even at that early hour there was a busy 
greens-market in the High Street. Upon 
enquiry I learned that every thing must be 
cleared away before eight o'clock — a good, 
wise regulation. After cleaning and dressing 
myself, I got into Mr Hickman's apartments 
at MacGregor's Hotel, in Princes Street, and 
there sate down with Barclay till the guests 
of the house were stirring. Very glad to see 
my old friends Mr and Mrs H., with whom I 


am to perform this Highland journey ; they 
arrived here by sea a few days ago, and had 
the rare fortune to see a porpoise shot by the 
way. Frances is of the party, and William 
Charles, whom I had never seen before — a 
fine hopeful creature, seven years old, very 
like his Aunt. Here also I was introduced to 
our fellow traveller, Miss Emma Pigott, a 
young lady of prepossessing appearance and 
agreable manners. 

Called on Miss Stanger to deliver a small 
packet from her father, and was courteously 
received by Mrs Grant, whom I liked well, 
and with whom I promised to breakfast the 
next morning. Looked for my brother Tom's 
sister-in-law, Eleanor Castle ; she happens to 
be with Lady Cumming Gordon,^ Forres 
House, Morayshire, where I shall have a 
chance of seeing her. Found her sister 
Fanny, who was a little girl when I saw her 
last, and is now a sensible young woman, 
acting as governess in Leonard Horner's 
family, and apparently well qualified for such 
a charge. Called on Blackwood, who gave me 
Peter's Letters, which he has just published ; 
and on Laing — he had forgotten my person, 
but I had remembered his, which is as properly 
^ Presumably Gordon-Cumming. 


Scotch as a haggis or a thistle. Got his 
catalogue. Went with R. to the College to 
look at the preposterous ceiling of their in- 
tended Museum, a rich specimen of ill-directed 
expenditure. Then to Watson's Hospital, 
whither Mr Jollie the treasurer accompanied 
us, and also to the establishment for Merchants' 
Orphan girls. In the grandiloquous speech 
of Scotland, a Merchant means a shopkeeper, 
as a pound means a shilling. In both these 
charitable institutions everything seems ex- 
cellently good. As something peculiar as 
well as good I noticed ranges of tin basons 
for washing, with a supply of water to each. 
I wonder that, for the sake of economy, fish 
in a seaport so abundantly supplied therewith 
should not be substituted twice or thrice a 
week instead of meat, all supposed danger of 
leprosy from such diet having ceased, and for 
the salted kinds the use of potatoes seeming 
so precisely adapted ; red herring and potatoes 
being like bread and cheese, or pease and bacon, 
a noble illustration of pre-existant harmonies 
and the fitness of things. The girls are 
educated to become governesses, for whom 
there is a much greater demand in Scotland 
than in England. Persons in the lower classes 
of middle life, and farmers, employ them, 


instead of sending their children to boarding 
schools. The Scotch practise is better in every 
way, and especially as affording a respectable 
livelihood for so many young women. 

Both these establishments are institutions 
of real utility — places of hope. Gillespie's 
Hospital, to which we went next, is far 
otherwise. This is an Almshouse for the 
poor and indigent of good character, with 
no other distinction ; and here much money 
is expended to little other purpose than that 
of relieving individuals from the duty of 
supporting persons who from age, infirmity, 
and misfortune are become useless to others, 
and burthensome even to themselves. The 
inmates having nothing to do but to wait 
for death, live very long, and are many 
of them very quarrelsome and unhappy. 
They are lodged two in a room. There is 
an air of squallid poverty about them, both 
men and women, which the use of a habit 
would effectually remove. But tho' their 
apparel is only one degree better than that 
of a beggar, a habit having no religious 
association in this country would be regarded 
as the badge of pauperism, and therefore 
has not been introduced, as it ought to be. 
In such things the Romanists are wiser ; 


and indeed in everything connected with 
eleemosynary establishments the Reforma- 
tion has done harm, and it is time that this 
should be seen and acknowledged, as well 
as felt. Gillespie's benevolent purpose would 
have been much better effected by granting 
pensions to the objects of his charity, as is 
done to the out-pensioners of Greenwich and 

Mr Telford arrived in the afternoon from 
Glasgow, so the whole party were now 
collected. There is so much intelligence in 
his countenance, so much frankness, kind- 
ness and hilarity about him, flowing from 
the never - failing well - spring of a happy 
nature, that I was upon cordial terms with 
him in five minutes. Dr Rennie dined with 
us, physician to the army in Ireland, a man 
of frank manners, great good sense, good 
humour, and simplicity of character, and as 
tall and gaunt in structure as if he were of 
the race of the Anakim. He told us some 
remarkable facts concerning the typhus fever 
which prevails in Ireland. Of the patients 
in the higher classes one in four died. In 
the hospitals that where the practise had 
been most successful lost one in twenty- 
two, in the others the mortality was one 


in fourteen. But in the country, where 
patients were so numerous that they were 
placed out in the fields (like the sick in 
some of my South American tribes) by the 
side of a brook or ditch, in an open shed, 
with a little hurdle -work over them, and 
a mess of gruel or some such thing, beside, 
to eat or leave as they liked, the mortality 
was only one in seventy, so much worse is 
the best ventilated hospital than the open 
air. I repeated this next day to Dr Hope, 
and he then told me in confirmation of the 
conclusion which Dr Rennie had inferred, 
that the wounded both at Talavera and 
Salamanca who were left all night upon the 
field recovered in much greater proportion 
than those who had been housed, and this 
he ascribed to the effect of the free air in 
preventing or allaying fever. 

When Mr JoUie was a boy it was the 
common belief that if you put a straw in 
the keyhole of Sir George Mackenzie's tomb- 
chamber and said three times "Bloody 
Mackenzie, your soul's in hell ! " the door 
would open of itself. The people of Edin- 
burgh are beginning to have a taste for 
ornamented churches. The new kirk in 
Charlotte Square has a dome of some pre- 


Prom the portrait by Samuel Lane in the possession of 
the Institution of Civil Engineers. 


tensions. In the near view I should like 
the building better without it, but it appears 
well in the distance. The arches which 
seem to support it within are only plaister 
work, and the real support is said to depend 
in part upon certain beams, which is surely 
trusting far too much to wood. 

Wednesday, August 18. — Breakfasted at 
Mrs Grant's, and there met Mr James Wilson, 
brother to Wilson the poet. I was beginning 
to speak with indignation of Peter's Letters, 
and the wretched state of society which 
such a book indicated, with its gossip, its 
personalities, and its flattery laid on thick 
and rank as train oil, when it was whispered 
to me that James Wilson was brother to 
one of the reputed authors. I had not 
before known who he was, but Blackwood 
had implied as much as the other part of 
the hint was intended to convey, when he 
told me that I knew the author. Mrs G. 
saw the signs of the times as I did, and 
liked them as little. I was glad of an 
opportunity to tell her how much I valued 
her Memoirs of an Ame7ican Lady, as a 
genuine picture of society in one of its 
happiest stages — a peculiar and transitory 


stage, and which could have existed nowliere 
but in an English colony. 

Went to the Orphan Hospital : everything 
excellent as to economy and system, except 
the teaching, which is deplorably inferior to 
Dr Bell's. Shoes and stockings may be worn 
or not, at the will of the individual, and 
many of the girls availed themselves of this 
privilege to go barefoot, wisely accustoming 
themselves to the hardy and parsimonious, 
but filthy custom of their countrywomen. 
The children in general are so handsome that 
one wonders at the aweful ugliness of the 
men and women. It is the same in France, 
the Scotch and the French being undoubtedly 
the two ugliest nations in Europe. Child- 
hood has a grace of its own, which is lost 
when the features take the cast of the 
national character. To the New Prison, a 
good Giant Despair's Castle. From the roof 
we saw the Round Tower over Hume's grave 
in the adjacent burial ground, which is 
inclosed from the high road by a sepulchral 
wall in good taste. To Heriot's Hospital. 
Saw the boys, 175 in number, dine upon 
bread and milk, the latter is so honest in 
quality, that most of them began by skimming 
the cream. They used horn spoons, which 


are cleaner and therefore better than either 
wooden or pewter. While they were at their 
meal, I thought of noticing the proportion of 
complexions. There was not one with black 
hair ; two or three only with flaxen ; some 
half a dozen of the shades between sand and 
carrots ; the great majority shades of brown 
and mostly of the middle tint. As soon as 
they had done, four strapping women servants 
came in, bearing two large wooden tubs ; 
they went to the cross table at the head of 
the hall, and two going right, two left, caught 
up the tin porridge cups and toss'd them into 
the tubs, making the noblest noise I ever 
heard as an accompaniment to a dinner. 
Then after the grace, away the urchins went, 
to the tune of their own footsteps, two and 
two, scuffling over the sanded floor. In one 
of the apartments there is a remarkable 
old stove, unlike any that I have seen 
upon the continent, for it has the fire in 
the middle, and four pillars on each side 
to which the heat is communicated. The 
tablets here give proof of the utility of 
this institution by recording benefactions 
from many persons who were educated 
here. The boys do not wear a habit ; all 
are dressed alike, but the dress is like that 


of other boys. A good panorama from the 

Got from Laing's catalogue the Relation 
de la Riviere des Ainazones, translated by 
Gomberville from the original Spanish by 
Acufia, with a dissertation of considerable 
length, and the Journal of Grillet and 
BechameVs Travels in Guiana — a very neat 
copy. I had long been in search of this 
book. What Gomberville says concerning 
the suppression of the original is certainly 
untrue ; but there are some curious things 
in the dissertation which make the work 
a desirable acquisition for my Brazilian 
collection. Bought also from the same 
catalogue the Relations Veritables et Cmieuses 
de risle de Madagascar &, du Bresil, Paris, 
1651. This very copy I saw thirteen years 
ago and did not purchase, because I had some 
reason to think my Uncle possessed the book. 
Laing, talking of my Life of Wesley, gave me 
an original letter of Whitefield's, of no value 
except as a relic — but I found something 
worthy of notice in the seal ; broken as the 
impression is, the device may be made out, 
a winged heart soaring above the World, and 
the motto Astra petamus. 

Mr and Mrs Hope, and Dr Hope, dined 


with us. Prince Leopold arrived this day, 
and Edinburgh was all alive. He went to 
the theatre, and the whole family of Tag, 
Rag, and Bobtail (more numerous than any 
of the Macs and all the Campbells) were 
swarming in Princes Street till midnight. 

Thursday, August 19. — The Night Mare 
was at MacGregor's hotel last night. She 
went to my next neighbour's room, instead 
of mine, for which I thank her, and he awoke 
me by three of the most dreadful groans I 
ever heard. 

The view from this hotel in the morning 
when the fires are just kindled, is probably 
the finest smoke-scape that can anywhere be 
seen. Well may Edinburgh be called Auld 
Reekie ! and the houses stand so one above 
another, that none of the smoke wastes itself 
upon the desert air before the inhabitants 
have derived all the advantage of its odour 
and its smuts. You might smoke bacon by 
hanging it out of the window. Went to 
Holyrood House, where there are portraits 
of ancient Kings as fabulous as their history, 
and genuine ones of Mary, which certainly 
are not beautiful, or only so by comparison in 
Scotland ; anywhere else such a countenance 


would only be called good-looking, and that 
rather by courtesy than by right. The 
pictures of the Duchess of Portsmouth and 
Nell Gwynne show that Charles II. had a 
good taste in female physiognomy, both, but 
especially the latter, being full of intelligence 
and good nature. The stain of David Rizzio's 
blood is still visible in two places ; and the 
partition is shown which is said to have been 
put up by Mary's order, for the purpose of 
putting out of her sight a scene that was 
never out of her mind till she had taken full 
vengeance for it upon the prime mover. We 
could not discover the profile of Nelson under 
his monument which is said to be seen from 
Holyrood House ; and what seems very odd, 
the Housekeeper there had never heard of it. 
Mr Hope, however, tells us we looked for it 
from the wrong spot. 

How can the Edinburghers boast of their 
High Street ? It is odd and characteristic, 
therefore interesting ; but on the whole it 
bears comparison better with St Giles's than 
with the fine streets of Oxford, Antwerp, 
and Madrid. The Windes, down which an 
English eye may look, but into which no 
English nose would willingly venture, for 
stinks older than the Union are to be 


found there — show at once how a Porteous 
mob might rise Hke Myrmidons from the 
earth and presently disappear again. Went to 
a Jeweller's, where we saw a rich display of 
Scotch gems. Trinkets of such materials as 
Mont Blanc produces are about cent, per cent, 
dearer here than at Chamounix. 

The people of Edinburgh have acquired 
a taste, or more properly a rage for splendid 
buildings. The expenditure upon the College 
is profuse, even to absurdity ; and they are at 
this time erecting an hotel which looks more 
fit for a palace. They begin now to be 
ashamed of their mound, of which they 
formerly boasted, and to wish that they had 
made a bridge instead. A single wall is built 
along this mound, with a pavement on both 
sides ; it is for the sake of shelter from the 
wind whether it blows east or west. The 
good sense of this makes one wonder the 
more at the enormous length of the streets 
in the New Town, where there is neither 
protection nor escape from the severe winds 
to which Edinburgh is exposed. There is 
a new English Church at the end of Princes 
Street, in a highly ornamented Gothic style, 
and well provided with catacombs.^ The 

^ St John's. 


houses in Edinburgh are numbered across 
the street, the odd numbers on one side, the 
even on the other — a convenient arrangement 
after one has found it out. Butcher here 
means the slaughterer ; he who sells the meat 
is called by the ugly name of the flesher. 
Called on Mr Gillies, to whom Wordsworth 
has addressed a wholesome sonnet ; he is 
nephew to the old historian, and had left a 
card for me. While I was at his house 
Mr Black, the biographer of Tasso, came in ; 
he is now settled as a Pastor, six miles from 
Air.^ We went together to call on Wilson, 
and this gave me an opportunity of seeing the 
Leith river in a part of its course where if 
man had left it unpolluted, it would have 
been a wild and beautiful stream. Gillies 
is a man of very interesting appearance, but 
too manifestly one of the sensitive plants of 
hot house culture. He walked back with 
me to the town, and we found Wilson at 
Blackwood's, much altered since I saw him 
last, having now the stamp of middle age 
upon his features. They introduced me to 
Mr Lockhart, Wilson's reputed coadjutor in 
the Magazine and in Peter's Letters — a man 
of great talents, and of right principles in 

1 Ayr. 


most things of importance, tho' he has chosen 
a most reprehensible mannner of bringing 
them forward. 

Dined with Mr Hope, who is lodging on 
the shore at Leith. R. and I left the coach 
and walked across the Links, for the chance 
of seeing the golf-players ; but the weather 
was too hot for them. Indeed it would 
scarcely have been hotter at Lisbon. I 
observed the same grasses here which prevail 
everywhere in England upon places that are 
much trodden by human feet — one the short 
rye grass, the other with a small loose tufted 
blossom. There being still time before dinner, 
I got into a bathing machine, and left some 
of my superfluous heat in the Firth. 

Saw at Mr Hope's an account of the 
Manchester Meeting, which as every reason- 
able person must have anticipated, has not 
ended without bloodshed. Mr Hope, a young 
Advocate, son of the Lord President, dined 
with us. Dr Hope argued that no quantity 
of ice which can be supposed to be floating 
at any one time in the Atlantic could by 
possibility affect the atmosphere here, any 
more than a glass of ice-cream would cool a 
heated ball-room. The cause of the cold 
south and west winds he thinks lies higher, 



and as yet, above our reach. The youngest 
child of Mrs Hope had been dangerously ill 
during four months with the hooping cough : 
the remedy which afforded most relief was 
an ointment of garlic applied to the soles of 
his feet ; in a very short time the smell was 
perceived in his breath, and to this more than 
to any other application, the preservation of 
his life is attributed. The Bass Rock was 
just visible thro' the hot hazy atmosphere ; 
and when we returned at night we saw the 
Inchkeith revolving Hght. 

When I went into the hotel to go to bed, 
a young American at his own desire was 
introduced to me — by the waiter. He said 
that his name was Robinson, that he was a 
Bostonian, and well acquainted both with 
Everett and Ticknor. I am sorry that my 
movements prevent me from seeing him at 
Keswick, where I should be always glad to 
receive any friend of theirs. 

Friday, August 20. — The Night Mare was 
in the house again. I wish she had put up 
at any other hotel during my stay. Rose at 
five, packed my trunk, inserted in my journal 
all the remaining memoranda concerning Edin- 
burgh, and now the Coach is at the door. 


These horses are to take us to Linlithgow, 
whither those which are engaged for the 
whole journey were sent forward yesterday. 
At a turnpike not far from Edinburgh is 
this inscription, " Whisky, porter and ale : 
uppiting for horses," which comical word 
seems to mean up-putting. There is an odd 
kirk near (at Corstorphine I believe) which 
looked like three or four little ones put 
together. A cartload of harvesters past us 
on their way afield. Men and women in 
abundance were busy at this chearful work ; 
but they seemed less active and less regular 
in their movements than English labourers 
would have been. No pastures here, and few 
hedges — hence an open and somewhat of a 
foreign appearance in the country. IG miles 
to Linlithgow. The Church is a venerable 
structure. Part of it has recently been very 
neatly fitted up for worship ; the seats are 
so arranged in segments of circles, where 
necessary, as that all the congregation may 
face the pulpit. The palace, which is said to 
have been set on fire by the English troops in 
1745, is on many accounts an interesting 
place. We were shown in it the apartments 
wherein Mary and Charles the First were 
born. The quadrangle is fine : one side 


appears to be of the early Tudor age; one 
is in the viler stile of James the First, where 
the windows are made in imitation of wood- 
work. The ruins of what must have been 
a magnificent fountain in the centre. A lake 
near — such a one as Tarn Wadling. The 
town decayed, dirty and dolorous ; only that 
a burlesque imitation of the old fountain 
called the Cross Well, has lately been erected. 
We had broiled fresh salmon at breakfast, to 
which the Wolf ^ took as kindly as if he had 
been an Otter. 19 to Stirling : the whole 
way from Edinburgh is thro' a fertile and 
highly cultivated country. Thro' Falkirk — 
a busy town, which has taken away the trade 
of Linlithgow since the Great Canal (as it is 
called) was cut to connect the Forth with the 
Clyde. We pass'd under that canal by an 
arch so dangerously low, that it might easily 
prove fatal to a traveller on the outside of a 
stage coach. A new road is making near 
Stirling, for a short distance, with a bridge, 
which is one of Mr Telford's works, and has 
a huge circle over the single arch — the first 
bridge which I have seen in this form : 

' A travelling appellation which the Journalist obtained 
upon the Continent for his exploits at breakfast^ diinierj 
supper, and all supplementary meals. 


the appearance is singular and striking. 
Bannoekburn is just before you reach Stirling. 
The position is said very much to resemble 
that at Waterloo ; but I could not see enough 
of the ground, nor indeed was it pointed out 
to me with sufficient accuracy, to form any 
opinion upon the resemblance. This is the 
only great battle that ever was lost by the 
English — their only disgraceful defeat. At 
Hastings there was no disgrace. Here it was 
the army of Lions commanded by a stag. 

When they watered the horses, they 
mixed meal with the water. We watered 
ourselves at the same time with luxurious 
Twopenny, which is bottled small beer, as 
weak as Mr Locke's metaphysics, as frothy as 
Counsellor Phillips's eloquence, and when the 
cork has been drawn a few minutes as vapid 
as an old number of the Edinburgh Review. 

The Castle at Stirling stands upon a 
commanding eminence like that of Edinburgh, 
and in a finer situation. On one side the 
slope is wooded, as at Appleby, and fragments 
of basaltic rock project. The view from 
hence, much as I had heard of it, fully equalled 
my expectations : it commands the line of the 
Ochil hills, and the rich vale of the Forth, 
which is in the highest state of cultivation, 


and is now in all the beauty of the harvest. 
Much to the credit of the town a comfortable 
bench has been placed in the best situation 
upon the walk, with this inscription : — To 
accommodate | the Aged and Infirm, | who had 
long resorted | to this spot, | on account of its 
warmth | and shelter | from every wind, | this seat 
was erected, | 1817. The ruins of Cambus- 
kenneth Abbey are in sight, on the banks of 
the river, scarcely a mile distant. A single 
tower seems to be all that remains. 

That part of the Palace which was built 
by James V is one of the most remarkable 
examples of architectural caprice. It is a 
quadrangle, surrounding a court, now called 
the Lions' den, because the King's Lions are 
said to have been kept there. The outer 
side of the square is the ornamented part. 
Between every two windows the half-figure 
of a monster projects, and serves as the 
base of a short column ; out of this a second 
column rises, upon which there stands a 
figure, generally either of a King or Queen 
of Scotland, with some capriccio above. 
The monsters are all different, and the four 
sides are adorned in this grotesque manner. 
We obtained entrance, contrary to the 
soldiers' wishes, thro' the courtesy of a 


gentleman who saw us from one of the 
windows ; but there was nothing to be seen 
within, for the whole palace has been con- 
verted into apartments for officers and other 
persons connected with the army. The 
Chapel has been turned into an armoury, 
and the pulpit from which the sermon at 
Prince Henry's christening was preached, is 
thrust into a corner. I could not but think 
that a more dignified use, and more becoming 
both the nation and the monarchy, might 
be devised for these ancient and venerable 
buildings. There are many other monuments 
of elder times upon the hill ; indeed the 
place affords rich materials for an antiquarian 
and picturesque work. Bought the History 
of Stirling — one of those compilations which 
are so useful for travellers. 

The general want of cleanliness, and a total 
indifference to any appearance of it, have 
been very apparent upon this day's journey. 
The houses seem to have been white washed 
when they were built, and never since that 
time ; and they look the worse because the 
windows are not casements, but in wooden 
frames, which when the panes are whole are 
not in keeping with the general meanness 
of the buildings, and when broken are seldom 


mended ; the hole is either patched with 
paper, or stuffed with a clout, or pieced, or 
left with no other covering than what the 
spiders may be pleased to make, every way 
increasing the air of discomfort and untidi- 
ness. Almost all the girls, disgusting as 
they are with their bare feet, and the whole 
of their dirty dress, have their hair in papers. 
One smartly drest young woman we saw 
near Falkirk in the filthy bare-foot fashion 
of the country, a custom to which nothing 
could ever reconcile our English feelings. 
We past many good kirks ; in this point 
Jock is wonderfully improved in his taste. 

After taking some cold meat we proceeded 
towards Callander, a stage of 16 miles. The 
view of Stirling Castle tho' inferior to that 
on the other side, is very fine, and that of 
Craigforth is very fine also. Leaving Blair- 
Drummond on the left we crost a moss 
belonging to that estate, where the process 
of clearing it which was begun by the late 
Lord Kames is still in progress. The depth 
of the moss is from three to twelve feet, 
and the mode of clearing it is by washing 
it away into the Forth, for which purpose 
a huge wheel to raise water has been con- 


8 miles to Down.^ The ruins of the 
Castle stand in a beautiful situation, over 
the Teith, a little above its confluence with 
the Ardoch. Down is a small, ugly, thriving 
place, where five great cattle fairs are held 
yearly ; it is on the border of the highland 
country, but not close to the mountains. 
As you enter it from Stirling there is a 
long row of new cottages, uniformly and 
contiguously built, like one side of a street. 

A little beyond this place, one of the near 
horses stumbled, owing I believe to a loose 
stone in the road, and fell : it was on a slight 
descent, and he was dragged a few yards 
before the leaders could stop the carriage : 
the postillion fell under him, and cried out 
piteously " O my leg, my leg ! " Happening 
to be on the box with Willy, I saw this 
frightful accident. By good fortune it was 
close to a blacksmith's, and he not being 
afraid of horses was of more service than all 
the other persons who presently gathered 
round. The driver was soon extricated ; and 
when the poor fellow found that he could 
both stand and walk, he said in a chearful 
tone he had had a broken leg before — as if he 
had not been alarmed at the danger which he 
^ Doune. 


had so narrowly escaped. The horse had 
received no injury — so that half an hour's 
delay seemed to be all the harm. The cause 
of this mishap lay in the obstinacy of the 
Perthshire people, Perthshire being the only 
highland county where they will not let the 
Commissioners interfere with the management 
of the roads. Some travellers coming lately 
from the fine new roads in the North of 
Scotland, which are the best in the world, 
found themselves on a sudden upon a sort of 
Devil's bowling-green, and cried out in alarm 
"What's the matter?" — supposing that the 
horses had got out of their proper line. But 
the driver coolly answered, " Perthshire — 
we're in Perthshire, Sir." 

From Down to Callander the way is thro' 
an improving country, but far different in its 
culture from the rich fields thro' which our 
previous road had lain. The chief improve- 
ments are upon an estate called Ballachallan, 
which has passed from a decayed family into 
the hands of an enterprizing purchaser. It 
was almost in a state of nature when it 
was sold, and many parts of it are now as 
valuable as any ground in the Strath of 
Monteith. Cambusmore is the name of this 
gentleman's residence ; we passed another 


called Cambus Wallace, and there is Cambus- 
kenneth Abbey ; what Camhus means 1 have 
not learnt. Here at Callander we find just 
room enough to accommodate us in the fine 
large inn of this poor place, which according 
to the Stirling Guide, is the first highland 
village on this side of the Grampians. We 
are in an apartment not less than twenty four 
feet square, and twelve in height : — for what 
can it be wanted in such a situation ? On 
the chimney-piece are a black cock and hen 
stuffed. We have none of these birds in 
Cumberland, but I believe they are still to be 
found, where they might less be expected 
upon the Quantock Hills, in Somersetshire. 
It was nine o'clock when we arrived, and I 
had good part of an hour for minuting down 
the recollections of the day. The leaden 
inkstand here is of a sensible shape — like a 
hat of Cromwell's age, with a hole at the top. 
At ten we sate down to hot and cold salmon, 
and lamb chops. Good bottled porter, but 
no twopenny, which everybody would have 
liked better. 

Saturday, August 21. — A blacksmith is 
walking deliberately down the middle of the 
street, talking Gaelic aloud and earnestly as if 


he were preaching. It sounds very much like 
its sister-language the Welsh, abounding in 
vowels and gutturals. The inkstand which I 
have described excited Willy's curiosity as 
much as it had my notice, and having no 
suspicion what it was, he made a black dis- 
covery by turning it up to look at the bottom, 
and to see what it contained. 

After breakfast we started for Loch Katrin, 
with a pair of horses. The better part of 
Callander is on the Glasgow road, which we 
had not seen last night, and in that direction 
there is a good bridge over the Teith. About 
a mile on our way is a burial ground having 
no kirk or other building near it, but with a 
bell suspended upon a high pole, under a little 
four-sided pyramidal roofing, altogether un- 
like anything I had ever seen elsewhere. Had 
I been a draughtsman it would certainly have 
had a place in my sketch-book. A poor 
crippled boy was sitting on a stool in the bed 
of the river where we crossed it, for the 
evident purpose of bathing his leg — and this 
also would have been worthy of a painter's 
memorandum. 10 miles to the inn near 
Loch Katrin. The road was said to be good, 
the meaning of which we found to be that it 
was practicable for a coach, being in reality 


not only very bad, but in no slight degree 
dangerous, for in many places the slightest 
deviation from the track would either upset 
the carriage by the rocks on one side, or pre- 
cipitate it down a crumbling bank on the 
other. We past by two lakes, both lying on 
our left, on our right was Benledi, or the Hill 
of God, a lofty ridge, on the summit of which 
in the druidical times the people from the 
country round are said to have assembled for 
three days and nights, every year, at the 
summer solstice. It is said also that the 
summit has the appearance of having been 
smoothed and drest, but this does not appear 
congruous to what we know of the manner of 
their worship. The first of the Lakes is called 
Loch Venachoir, the Lake of the Fair Valley 
— a straight but fine piece of water, apparently 
at least three miles in length. Loch Achray, 
or the Lake of the Field of Devotion, is 
smaller : here there is a beautiful little island 
with a few trees, and a fine termination, in 
which Benvenue, 2800 feet in height, makes 
the prominent feature. Near the end of this 
second lake is a small inn where carriages 
stop, and guides are in readiness. This was 
a farm house till Walter Scott brought the 
Trosachs and Loch Katrin into fashion, and 


was called after the farm Ard-cean-chrocan. 
I neglected to notice for what civilized appella- 
tion of Blue Boar, Red Lion, White Hart, or 
Spread Eagle this barbarous name has been 
commuted ; but if the owner of the house has 
a proper sense of his obligations, he will set 
up the sign of Walter Scott's head. 

When we arrived the sun had not yet 
cleared away the clouds which had thus far 
favoured us by affording a comfortable shade, 
and when we entered the Trosachs the outline 
of the higher summits was not visible. This 
word, its seems, is equivalent to the Wilds — 
a suspicious translation, however, because one 
part of this country can hardly be called 
wilder than another. The pass bears much 
resemblance to the Gorge of Borrodale ; but 
it is upon a larger scale and better wooded. 
At first its stream is smaller than the Derwent 
where it leaves Borrodale, but ere long you 
see the lake flowing in, and filling the whole 
bottom. The lake has two outlets here, both 
communicating with Loch Achray ; that by 
which we approached appears to be the 
smallest : the waters go on to Loch Venachoir, 
and so to the Teith, the Forth, and then the 
sea. Looking in books and maps for the 
proper mode of spelling Loch Katren, 1 find 


myself puzzled how to find the orthography in 
the polyography of the word. However, I 
conclude that as it may mean the Lake of 
Robbers, it must mean it, for no other meaning 
could be so likely. Kate's Lake therefore 
it cannot be, in spite of all the claims of all 
the St Katharines. 

We embarked as soon as we came to the 
water side, and it was amusing to hear the 
boatmen relate with equal gravity the exploits 
of Bruce, Cromwell, and Rob Roy, and the 
incidents of Scott's poem as connected with 
the scenery of the Lake. The Island would 
be more beautiful if it were not so lofty ; and 
it is too much covered with wood. We 
landed not far from it, on the right shore, 
(that is, looking up the Lake) and ascended 
to a point from whence the whole may be 
seen. The higher and greater part is not 
interesting ; the end is certainly unsurpassed 
in its kind — perhaps unequalled, by anything 
that I have ever seen. Last year the Duke 
of Montrose sold the woods on Benvenue, 
which was then compleatly clothed with fine 
trees, for the paltry price of 200£. It seems 
incredible that for such a sum he should have 
incurred the obloquy and the disgrace of 
disfiguring, as far as it was in his power to 


disfigure, the most beautiful spot in the 
whole island of Great Britain. Notwith- 
standing the remoteness of the situation the 
purchasers have made 3000£ by their bargain. 
The scenery must have suffered much, but 
not so much as might be supposed ; trees 
enough of smaller growth were left, because 
they were not worth cutting, to prevent any 
appearance of nakedness ; and rocks and crags 
have been laid bare, which before must have 
been concealed. But this did not enter into 
his Grace's calculations ; he is fairly entitled 
to all the vituperation which is bestowed upon 
him by the visitors to Loch Katren. The 
day cleared before we began to return, and 
nothing could then be more favourable than 
the hghts. The side on which we landed 
was of a sylvan character, like the end of 
Leathes water, but upon a much larger scale. 
Benvenue, if I remember rightly, more 
resembles Helvellin as seen from Ullswater, 
than any other mountain with which I can 
compare it. It appears well for its height ; 
indeed I should have guessed its elevation 
above the real measurement. But perhaps 
the finest points of view are in the Trosachs, 
before you arrive at the water ; and when its 
summit appears over the hills in the gorge ; 


and the entrance of the gorge from the Lake, 
where the base of the mountain is seen. Trout 
and char in the Lake, and pike, which were 
introduced a few years ago from a small lake 
between this and Loch Lomond. As we 
went back we noticed several boys and lads 
walking in Loch Venachoir, near the shore, 
bare-legged, and with their sleeves tucked 
up — we supposed them to be looking for 
pebbles. Returned by half-past five to dinner. 
When I went into my bedroom, I found 
sundry curling-papers, and a woman's filthy 
cap on the dressing table. 

From what we observed and learnt upon 
the road, it is plain that some improvement 
is going on, tho' improvement as well as 
Spring "comes slowly up this way." Farms 
of reasonable extent are gradually swallow- 
ing up those which are too small, and thus 
introducing more sense of comfort, and 
better habitations. We saw the skeletons 
of several Highland cabins in decay, where 
the ribs rested on the ground. What new 
ones had been erected were better built and 
of better materials, having stone walls and 
slate roofs, like decent English cottages. 
There is some tolerable cultivation near 
Callander ; a little above that place it becomes 


slovenly ; the pasture is left wholly to nature ; 
and here and there poor oats and poorer 
barley, both over-run with weeds, are raised 
in a climate most unfit for grain. It is 
evident that this ought to be a pastoral 
country, and that all the grain which is 
wanted here should be brought from other 
parts where it is cultivated with less un- 
certainty. Did the people manage their 
grass lands well, the stock of cattle might 
be prodigiously increased. Turnips, potatoes 
(which indeed they cultivate with care, and 
it seems to be the only thing on which care 
is bestowed), cabbage, and doubtless other 
culinary herbs and roots, succeed here per- 
fectly. The error is in relying upon the 
cereal plants instead of these, which are less 
precarious and more productive — upon flour 
and oatmeal instead of potatoes, porridge, 
and sour krout. 

I saw no whins to-day ; much broom and 
much juniper, either of them far more beautiful 
than the whin when its golden season is 
over, but during that season it is indeed the 
glory of the wastes. No lichen geographicus : 
plenty of bog myrtle — and the little star- 
plant also. Heather, but not in abundance ; 
this blossom when it predominates may well 



be called the bloom of the mountains. There 
are goats upon Benvenue which have become 
wild, but are still considered private property. 
The boatman supposed them to be about 
forty. I wish they may be allowed to 
multiply. The extirpation of wild beasts 
from this island is one of the best proofs of 
our advanced civilization, but in losing those 
wild animals from which no danger could arise, 
the country loses one of its great charms. 

Over the entrance to the Inn yard at 
Callander are two most unlionlike Lions 
in stone, McNab's crest, the Lord of this 
country, by whom the house was built. 
McNab was asked one day by his friend 
Lord Breadalbane for what those ugly figures 
were placed there ; and he replied in allusion 
to the feuds which had existed in old times 
between the two families, "Just to frighten 
the Campbells, I believe." 

Sunday, August 22. — 14 miles to the head 
of Loch Earn, by the military road up the 
pass of Leney, where in all ordinary seasons 
the Teith must be a powerful torrent, but 
now it is nearly dry. Along the eastern 
side of Loch Lubnaig, which is about five 
miles in length — the opposite shore is at 


the foot of a mountain which is said to be 
3009 feet in height. In a house on a little 
elevation which we passed, Bruce used to 
have his summer residence while he was 
preparing his travels for the press. We saw 
what we supposed to be the ruins of his 
boat house. To me who have read Bruce 
twice in later years with close attention, when 
I reviewed the new edition of his travels, 
and have yet so much to derive from him, 
and compare with him, in a future work, 
this is one of the most interesting spots 
that I could have seen. Went thro' the 
village of Strathyre after we had left the 
lake ; and left on the left (Oh most left- 
handed journalist !) a strath or straeth, that 
is, a valley wide enough for culture and 
population. In that valley, but not within 
sight from our road, is Loch Voil, from 
whence the Teith proceeds. Its farthest 
springs are in the mountain where the 
counter-streams form the northern sources 
of Loch Katren. The river which proceeds 
from Loch Katren joins the Teith near 
Callander, soon after it leaves the pass of 
Leney, with equal, or almost equal waters. 
The Braes of Balquhidder were our next 
object, braes being hill or mountain slopes 


fit for the use of man and beast. Ere long 
we reached a very good inn at the broad 
square head of Loch Earn — a house of less 
pretensions than that at Callander, but in 
all respects better. Behind it were three 
hawks, each fastened to its perch, belonging 
to Sir David Baird, who has probably acquired 
a taste for hawking in India — certainly the 
noblest of all field sports, but as certainly 
the least excusable, because of the cruelties 
which are daily and habitually practised in 
training. We found lying upon the table 
here a pamphlett entitled " Striking and 
Picturesque Delineations of the Grand, 
Beautiful, Wonderful and Interesting Scenery 
around Loch Earn, by Angus McDiarmid, 
Ground Officer on the Earl of Breadalbane's 
Estate of Edinample." The first sentence — 
if sentence that may be called which hath 
no limitations of sense or syntax — sufficed 
to show that this production deserved a 
place among the Lusus Literaturce, and I 
was about to buy one from the waiter but 
Mr Telford insisted upon adding this choice 
piece to my collection of curiosities. The 
author verily believes it to be the best 
book in the world ; and if any surprize is 
expressed at its high price (2s. 9d. for 42 


pages), he says, "Aye, that's because of the 
high stile." 

After breakfast we proceeded by a fine 
mountain pass of eight miles to Killin, which 
is near the head of Loch Tay. About seven 
miles of the distance are by the Military 
Road, upon which we entered at Callander, 
and for which as bound by duty and by 
rhyme, we blest General Wade. That road 
strikes off on the left towards Fillan and 
Tyandrum, up the vale where the Dochart 
comes down. Some mile or two before we 
reached Killin the Lion Mountains opened 
upon us — a little in their first appearance like 
the Mythen-berg behind Schweitz : four or 
five of their fine summits have a strong 
family likeness. The Dochart is now almost 
dry, at other times the scene by the two 
bridges must be exceedingly grand, when the 
wide torrent rolls down that rockery bed. 
Close by is the entrance to M'Nab's burial 
ground. A personage of this name was one 
of the last Highland Lairds who kept up the 
genuine unmitigated character, and he told 
the Lady whom he was wooing, among the 
other agreable things of which he invited her 
to partake, that he had the finest burial 
ground in the highlands. A very fine one 


it is, and because he would not sell the 
sepulchres of his fathers to Lord Breadalbane, 
it is said that that Lord, with an infirmity 
common to noble minds did not chuse to 
reside within sight of any piece of ground 
that was not his own property, and for that 
reason removed his quarters to the foot of the 
lake. This is a likely story for the McNabs 
to tell and believe, but not very likely in 
itself. A more probable as well as a more 
worthy motive for removing the solm^ is to be 
found in the obvious fact that the removal 
was in all respects fof the better. The longer 
I live, the less am I disposed to credit personal 
anecdotes : I have seen too many lies of 
myself, both in praise and in dispraise. 

The staircase at Killin winds like that of 
a tower, round a newel or central pillar, but 
this newel is made of pieces of birch, about 
six inches thick, laid transversely. From its 
polish and colour the wood appears like 
stone ; the worms have attacked it (I 
believe there is scarce any wood which they 
attack so soon as the birch), but as yet they 
have done little injury. An Eagle's claw is 
used for a bell-rope-handle. In the room 
where we were quartered there was a closed 
bed stead made in the form of a bureau and 


bookcase, the backs and titles of books being 
painted on canvas within the glass doors. 
Gaelic service was going on in the kirk, 
which was compleatly full. I listened at the 
door awhile ; the preacher was loud and 
appeared to be vehemently earnest. In this 
and in the other villages which we have past, 
Vintner is written up where whiskey is sold. 

Sixteen miles to Kenmore, or Taymouth. 
For the first mile you keep part of the way 
by the Dochart, which forms some fine 
i^emansos, or resting-places (we have no 
equivalent word) before it enters the lake. 
There is a good bridge over it. The 
remainder of the road (we were on the left, 
that is the northern side) is always within 
sight of the water, but considerably above it ; 
and therefore for the sake of a shorter line, 
it goes up and down many hills, all which 
might have been avoided by keeping the 
shore : thus more is lost in time and labour 
than is gained in distance, and in this instance 
the lower line would have been the more 
beautiful, or at least no beauty would be lost 
by it. The country is very well cultivated. 
When Lord Breadalbane turned his mountains 
into sheep-farms, he removed the Highlanders 
to this valley. The evil of the migration, if 


it were so mismanaged as to produce any, is 
at an end, and a wonderful improvement it 
has been, both for the country and for them. 
There are marks of well-directed industry 
everywhere. Flax, potatoes, clover, oats and 
barley, all carefully cultivated and flourishing ; 
the houses not in villages, but scattered 
about : and the people much more decent 
in their appearance, than those whom we saw 
between Killin and Callander. We met 
many returning from kirk and carrying their 
bibles : one old woman, probably unable to go 
so far from home, was sitting out of doors, 
reading hers. The children have the vile 
habit of begging, to the disgrace of the 
parents, who suffer and most likely encourage 
it — but they are a healthy and handsome 
race. Stone inclosures run high up the hills 
on both sides of the lake. There is no want 
of trees, and many planes among them. The 
head and foot of Loch Tay are both very fine, 
the intermediate part has no picturesque 
beauty ; but it is a noble piece of water — 
like an American river were it not for its 
apparent want of motion — in its narrowest 
part I think a mile wide, and perhaps nowhere 
so much as two. Toward the end it bends to 
the right, that is to the south-east, and then 


we entered upon Lord Breadalbane's planta- 
tions. There is a little romantic — that is to 
say novelish or fantastic cottage by the road 
side, with windows in humble imitation of 
casements — but casements are so utterly 
unknown in Scotland that the panes are 
fixed in wooden frames. A small island near 
the foot of the lake, with some fine trees 
upon it, and not too many. Upon this 
island, Sibylla, wife of Alexander I., and 
daughter of William the Conqueror, was 
buried in a priory founded by her husband, 
as a dependence upon the monastery at 
Scone. It must have been a very small 
priory — perhaps merely a Kill or cell — such 
as the Errnidas of Spain and Portugal. 

Taymouth is improperly named — that word 
would rather appear to designate the place 
where the river enters the sea, than where it 
issues from the lake. The inn there was so 
full that we were turned-in into a servant's 
apartment, with no one comfort about it. 
Mr Telford and I had the good luck to be 
billetted upon a private house opposite, where 
in a neat double-bedded room we escaped the 
noises which disturbed the rest of the party 
during great part of the night. The mistress 
of the house and her daughter, both pleasing 


and sensible women, received us in the parlour, 
while the room was being made ready. En- 
quiring of the mother, if there was no place of 
worship between Taymouth and Killin, for 
we had seen no kirk, she told me there was a 
missionary settled there, appointed by the 
Society, with a salary of sixty pounds, and 
some glebe, which he let. The Highlanders, 
she said, were very desirous of religious in- 
struction, and what few books they had were 
religious ones : they never troubled themselves 
about politics. Her own story, which we 
afterwards learnt from the waiter, is a mournful 
one. Her husband was an Englishman, by 
name Kennedy, employed in managing Lord 
Breadalbane's estates. His Lordship turned 
him off from some suspicion (I apprehend an 
unjust one) of ill conduct ; and this affected 
him so much that he died of a broken heart 
on the way to England. The widow being of 
this country turned back, purchased a shop of 
her brother which he was carrying on un- 
successfully, and is going on with it well 
herself: but she has lately lost one of her 
daughters. She is still a handsome woman. 

3Ionday, August 23. — 7 to Aberfeldy. The 
road commands fine views of Lord Breadal- 


bane's house and park, and of the fine valley 
of the Tay. Aberfeldy is a place which might 
properly be called Aberfilthy, for marvellously 
foul it is. You enter thro' a beggarly street, 
and arrive at a dirty inn. A sort of square, 
or market place has been lately built, so that 
mean as the village or townlet is, it seems to 
be thriving. The Burn of Moness passes 
thro' the place, and falls into the Tay near it ; 
there are some falls upon this burn, which 
when the streams are full should be among 
the videnda of this part of the country. Near 
Aberfeldy is a bridge over the Tay, built by 
General Wade ; but creditable neither to the 
skill nor taste of the architect. It resembles 
that at Blenheim, the middle arch being made 
the principal feature. At a distance it looks 
well, but makes a wretched appearance upon 
close inspection. There are four unmeaning 
obelisks upon the central arch, and the parapet 
is so high that you cannot see over it. The 
foundations also are very insecure, — for we 
went into the bed of the river and examined 

16j to Dunkeld, the Tay still on our left ; 
the Garry joins it with an equal, or perhaps a 
larger stream, bringing all the waters from the 
north side of the Lion Mountains. Past a 


small druidical circle on our right. As we 
approached Dimkeld we went thro' the Duke 
of Athol's plantations, some of the most 
extensive in the island ; indeed I know not if 
there be any which equal them. He has 
covered hills which are 1200 feet above the 
level of the sea, and which are so inaccessible 
in parts, that Mr Telford once asked him if 
he had scattered the cones there by firing 
them from cannon. He smiled at the question, 
being pleased that the difficulty of the enter- 
prize had been thus justly estimated, and he 
replied that in many places they had been set by 
boys who were let down from above by ropes. 
The approach to Dunkeld from this side is 
peculiarly fine. The cathedral, which tho' 
grievously injured, has escaped with less 
injury than many others from the brutality 
of the Calvinistic reformers, is most happily 
placed with the river in front, and some noble 
woods on a rising ground behind ; behind 
these woods is the King's seat, some 800 feet 
above the level of the surrounding country, 
covered with trees wherever the crags will 
permit them to grow. But the foreground 
of this incomparable picture, which would else 
be worthy of all the other parts, is deformed 
by a good comfortable house, built by the 


Duke for some person connected with his 
family, and most unfortunately placed just in 
front of the Cathedral. The bridge is one of 
Telford's works, and one of the finest in 
Scotland. The Duke was at the expence, 
Government aiding him with 5000£. There 
are five arches, the dimensions of the five 
middle arches of Westminster Bridge ; and 
besides these there are two upon the land. It 
was built on dry ground, formerly the bed of 
the river ; for the Braan, which enters a little 
above the town, had brought down gravel 
enough to force the Tay out of its old channel. 
When the bridge was completed the original 
bed was cleared and made the channel again ; 
by this means the building was carried on 
with greater ease, and at much less expence. 
The Braan continues to bring down wreck, 
and would again in Hke manner gradually 
force the stream out of its place, if it were not 
prevented, but a little care in keeping the 
channel clear will suffice. The Duke wishes 
to make a better entrance into the town from 
the bridge ; but there is a stubborn blacksmith, 
whose shed stands just in the way, and who 
will not sell his pen, thus in a surly doggish 
spirit of independence impeding by his single 
opposition a very material improvement. 


Part of the Cathedral was lately used as 
a Kirk, and disgracefully bad it was, as such 
kirks usually were wherever the Calvinists of 
this country burrowed in the ruins they had 
made. The Duke is now fitting it up at 
considerable expence, and in good taste — if 
we could forget that it is only in plaister 
work, and if we could forgive the defacement 
of four fine windows, being all which this 
inclosed part of the building includes : two 
of them are disfigured by galleries, one by the 
grand seat of the Athols, and one by the 
pulpit. The ruinous part of the edifice is 
fine, but there is a crack down the tower 
which ought to be repaired in time. 

We walked for about two hours in the 
grounds, and saw there the first larches which 
were planted in Scotland ; a Highlander, one 
of the Duke's people, brought them from 
London behind him on horse-back, knowing 
that his Laird would be pleased with such 
a present. They are of great height and 
girth ; we measured one which was thirteen 
feet in circumference. There are no finer 
grounds than these in Great Britain ; the 
rides and walks within them are so numerous 
and so extensive, that a person who went 
over the whole of them would perform a 


journey of 80 or 90 miles. It is supposed 
that the Duke might cut down 3000£'s worth 
of wood every year, and that this might be 
done for ever. At the Porter's lodge we 
were desired to write our names, and particu- 
larly those of the ladies, because the Duchess 
wished to see them. I see by the book which 
was presented to us for that purpose that 
Wm. Heathcote and his friend Perceval were 
here on Saturday. I fear therefore he will 
miss me, and perhaps we may have past each 
other on the road. 

Tuesday, August 24. — The stairs at our 
inn are of stone ; but by a want of common 
sense almost incredible, the landing place which 
connects them is of wood. A Colonel Stewart 
enquired for me last night, and invited me 
to breakfast this morning at Mrs Grant's 
lodgings, but our departure was fixed for nine 
o'clock, and I like her well enough to regret 
this. Re-crost the bridge, and proceeded 
along the side of what formerly was Birnam 
Wood, of locomotive celebrity ; it seems now 
to have taken its final departure. 15 to 
Perth, by a good road. Some one was 
praising it to the Duke of Athol at whose 
expence it was made, in presence of Neil 


Gow, a performer on the violin, of some 
renown in these parts : Neil who was a person 
privileged to say anything, replied, "They 
may praise your braid roads that gains by 
'em : for my part, when I'se gat a wee droppy 
at Perth, I'se just as lang again in getting 
hame by the new road as by the auld one." 
On such occasions he could manage to keep 
the road, but it was by a zig-zag course, 
tacking always from one side of it to the 
other. Much country on the way which has 
been newly brought into cultivation and is 
highly productive. Iron ploughs are common, 
and I saw for the first time an iron turnpike 
gate. I have seen more threshing machines 
in the course of this journey than in all my 
life before. A dirty dun colour seems to be 
the prevailing colour of the cattle here. The 
entrance into Perth is not favourable ; it is 
however a good city. The Cathedral a poor 
building ; the church of Flemish or Picard 
character, modern and good in its kind. 

Here I went in search of Edward Collins, 
and was grieved to find that he had been 
summoned to England on account of his 
father's death. I saw his wife, her aunt Mrs 
Wood, and Dr Wood, a delightful old man, 
who gave me a most cordial greeting. I took 



some cold meat with them, and drank bottled 
small beer which was three years old. They 
have an excellent house, out of the town, and 
commanding a fine view of the river and 
bridge. Dr Wood set me at ease concerning 
one of the tumours on my head which has 
just begun to suppurate, having been there 
more than ten years without annoying me 
before. He says it will discharge itself, and 
recommends a poultice at night, and some 
simple ointment on a piece of lint by day. 
The former part of his advice it is impossible 
to follow while I am travelling. But I laid in 
lint and ointment, and must trust to Mr 
Telford's kindness to apply them : we are 
generally quartered in a double bedded room. 
I have seldom seen an old man altogether 
so pleasing in manners and appearance as 
Dr Wood. He was at St Andrews with 
Dr Bell under Wilkie. Wilkie was a Pastor 
before he was made Professor at that Uni- 
versity. His congregation thought him cold 
and inert in the pulpit and sent a deputation 
of elders to inform him of his deficiency and 
advise him to correct his faulty manner. 
" I know what you are come to say," said 
he ; " my delivery is bad, I confess ; and 
the reason is I cannot do two things at 


once. But if you please I will deliver my 
discou 'se first, and thump the cushion after- 
wards as much as you like." 

This visit prevented me from seeing more 
of Perth than the part which we passed 
thro'. The horse which fell upon our first 
day's journey had been sent back from 
Callander, as a stumbler, and the rider with 
him, who was stiff with the effect of his 
bruises. A horse and boy (worthy to have 
been preserved in a museum as a fine specimen 
of the genus tatterdemallion) were hired at 
Callander for this place, where according to 
appointment we found a man with one from 
Edinburgh to meet us. Soon after three in 
the afternoon we left Perth, and crossing 
the Tay by its fine bridge proceeded thro' 
the Carse of Gowrie, 22 miles, to Dundee. 
The morning stage had been thro' an un- 
interesting track, for upon leaving Dunkeld 
we receded from the picturesque country : 
the road now went thro' a widening vale, 
evidently alluvial, the land all in open culti- 
vation of the best kind and now in the best 
season and happiest state. The fields were 
full of reapers, and in many parts the corn 
was already carried. They make their ricks 
small, so that there are sometimes fifty or 


sixty round a farm-house. Each is built 
round a sort of small wooden spire, which 
serves as a chimney to give it vent and 
prevent it from heating and igniting. They 
are made of this size that a whole one may 
be carried in and threshed at once. The 
rooks were busy in the fields, one or two 
upon every shock, paying themselves for 
their good service in clearing the land of 
grubs. The general face of the Carse re- 
sembles Picardy. The horses rested three 
quarters of an hour at Inchture, and we 
walked forward the while. This gave us 
an opportunity of examining one of the 
weighing machines at the turnpikes ; they are 
above ground in Scotland and their cost is 
from ten to fifteen guineas. Lord Kinnaird's 
seat on the left.^ Castle Lion,^ a fine old place 
of Lord Strathmore's, on the right. We 
came now in sight of the river once more, 
which had wound far to the South under 
the Ochil mountains. I guessed the breadth 
of the firth (for such it had become) at from 
two to three miles. The evening had been 
darkening, and a few drops of rain fell : the 
appearance of the sky indicated thunder ; 
the outsiders got in, we were packed in and 
1 Rossie Priory. ^ Castle Lyon, now Castle Huntly. 


closed up in less than three minutes, just 
in time to escape a heavy rain, and we arrived 
at Dundee just as the daylight failed. 

Wedfiesday, August 25. — Before breakfast 
I went with Mr T. to the harbour, to look 
at his works, which are of great magnitude 
and importance — a huge floating dock, and 
the finest graving dock I ever saw. The 
town expends 70,000£ upon these improve- 
ments, which will be compleated in another 
year. What they take from the excavations 
serves to raise ground which was formerly 
covered by the tide, but will now be of the 
greatest value for wharfs, yards, 6cc. They 
proposed to build fifteen piers, but T. assured 
them that three would be sufficient ; and in 
telling me this he said the creation of fifteen 
new Scotch Peers was too strong a measure. 

The bellman as we returned was crying 
that something, we could not make out what, 
was to be sold perceesly at half past eight. 
Some women asked the price ; he told them 
to go and buy some, and they would see ; 
and looking at us with a smile as he passed 
on, said, " What's the price to me ? " Bought 
a statistical account of Dundee, 1792, by 
Robert Small, D.D. — a sensible, satisfactory 


account. And upon looking round the book- 
seller's shop I fell upon a volume which may 
probably prove an useful edition to my 
Methodistic Collections, — to wit, The Experi- 
ence and Gospel Labouis of Benjamin Abbott, 
an American. I cannot get the Memorabilia of 
Perth. See the folly of omitting to do, what 
you intend doing, at the right time and place. 
Being too much occupied at Perth with my 
visit at Dr Woods, and my poor pericranium, 
I relied upon getting this book at Dundee. 

Telford's is a happy life : everywhere 
making roads, building bridges, forming 
canals, and creating harbours — works of sure, 
solid, permanent utility ; everywhere employ- 
ing a great number of persons, selecting the 
most meritorious, and putting them forward 
in the world, in his own way. The plan upon 
which he proceeds in road-making is this : 
first to level and drain ; then, like the Romans, 
to lay a solid pavement of large stones, the 
round or broad end downwards, as close as 
they can be set ; the points are then broken 
off, and a layer of stones broken to about 
the size of walnuts, laid over them, so 
that the whole are bound together; over 
all a little gravel if it be at hand, but this 
is not essential. 


Over all the Apothecaries' doors Laboratory 
is written. It happened that R. had occasion 
to purchase an oil-cloth for covering the great 
trunk, and we then found that the person who 
sells oils and colours is called an Apothecary. 
The Cathedral, which is the oldest in Scotland, 
is an extraordinary mass of buildings of all 
ages ; the tower, which is the oldest part, being 
connected by a modern interpolation to a 
portion of intermediate date or dates. This 
remarkable pile contains no fewer than five 
places of worship. We went into two of 
them. The pews in both were placed without 
any apparent order as thick as they could be ; 
nor could we have found our way among 
them (there being nothing like aisles) if our 
Cicerone had not lifted up seats and opened 
doors to give us a passage. The congregation 
must either observe an extraordinary and 
almost impossible regularity in taking their 
seats, or they must be subject to very great 
inconvenience before they can all get packed 
up for the service. From the one of these 
kirks we got into the other ; and between 
both is a sort of vestry, upstairs, with some 
bookcases round it, but all with closed doors. 
The man said that all the books were two 
hundred years old, and that they were chiefly 


English and Latin, with some Hebrew. The 
closets might contain from 3 to 400 folios. 

A fellow in the streets with a bell in his 
hand was tempting children to gamble for a 
sort of lollipop : strange that this should be 
suffered in Scotland. New Pye Office over a 
door : upon enquiry some person sold pastry 
there. What a grandiloquous people ! 

Having seen more booksellers' shops during 
our walk, I obtained in one of them (the best 
in the town) the Memorabilia, and requiring 
change for a one pound B. of England bill, 
was desired to write my name upon it. Upon 
seeing it the Bibliopole asked if I was the 
P.L.,^ and the question being answered to his 
wish he called to his wife, a pleasing woman, 
some 35 years old. So we presently got into 
conversation. I enquired concerning the 
Glassites, and their rule of marrying early, 
which Dr Small in his account of this town 
states to be an indispensable law of the 
Society, and which he commends as not only 
tending to the great increase of population, 
but as of the utmost consequence in promot- 
ing early industry. The bookseller and his 
wife (and they were both sensible persons) 
agreed in opposition to this opinion, that to 

1 Southey was appointed Poet Laureate in 1813. 


their own certain knowledge the custom was, 
in many cases, injurious. If one of the flock 
has no predilection when of marriageable 
years, the Elders take upon themselves to 
recommend a partner, and both parties 
frequently have to repent of an union thus 
made. The Glassites are rather numerous in 
Dundee. If one of their body becomes bank- 
rupt, they examine his books and expel him, 
if there be any evidence of misconduct, or of 
culpable indiscretion. My informants thought 
their chief error was that of admitting ignorant 
preachers, and to the same fault they ascribed 
the little success of Methodism in Scotland. 

Garden ground lets here at from 10 to 14£ 
per acre, and Dundee is said to be better 
supplied with vegetables than any other town 
in Scotland. Indeed this part of the country 
is so flourishing that, two years ago, the Town 
Clerk assured Mr Telford, the agriculturists 
had half a miUion of surplus capital in the 
Bank of Dundee. 

We dined here, T. having business with the 
Provost and other persons touching his great 
operations — which took up the whole morning. 
They would fain have given him a dinner, but 
this would have consumed the remainder of 
the day, and time was precious. They dress 


herrings here without roe or milt, throwing 
both away. The port wine at the Scotch inns 
has always been good, wherever we have 
tasted it ; and we are told that it is so every- 
where. The tumbler glasses here are so thick 
that it is unpleasant to drink out of them. 
At half after four we set off for Abroath, to 
which less inconvenient word it seems Aber- 
brothock has been cut down. A good many 
persons were assembled to see us depart. I 
suspect it had got abroad from the bookseller 
that my Poetship was to be seen, and there- 
fore was not sorry when the coach was in 
motion and we bade adieu to " bonny Dundee." 
A good view of the town as we looked 
back. The atmosphere being very clear, after 
last night's rain, St Andrews was visible 
across the water at a great distance. The 
stage is 17 miles, thro' a highly cultivated 
country the whole way. Large fields and a 
beautiful harvest, such as to make the heart 
glad while we looked at it. In many places 
a poisonous stench from the flax which seems 
to be extensively cultivated here, linen being 
the staple manufacture of Dundee. Many 
neat cottages and houses of a better description, 
but as usual filthy women with their hair in 
papers. The most remarkable object on the 


road is Craigie House, an old, fortified 
dwelling, with round towers and square roofs 
upon them. The latter part of our way was 
near the beach. 

We had just daylight enough left for 
seeing the Abbey, which must have been a 
magnificent building, before the beastly 
multitude destroyed it — its area serves now 
as the burial place for the town. A building 
more compleatly ruined I never saw ; the 
remains however are kept with some care, 
being under the charge of the Commissioners 
for Northern Lights — that is to say, sea- 
beacons ; one of the towers is a sea-mark, and 
on that account has lately been repaired. It 
was at the sight of these ruins that John 
Wesley exclaimed, " God deliver us from 
reforming mobs ! " 

The Inch cape or Bell Rock Light House 
(on Sir Ralph the Rover's rock) is visible 
from the town, two revolving lights, one very 
bright, the other less so, being red ; they are 
about three minutes in revolving. The town 
is very neat and apparently very flourishing : 
the streets flagged, which they are not at 
Dundee, to the disgrace of that city, where 
they have good quarries close at hand. 
Several booksellers' shops, which indeed seem 


to be much more numerous in Scotch than in 
English towns. And here at Arbroath I saw 
more prostitutes walking the streets than 
would I think have been seen in any English 
town of no greater extent or population. 

Thursday, August 26. — Started at 7. 12f 
to Montrose. Castles were very numerous 
along this coast in the miserable times of old 
— some perhaps built as strongholds for 
pirates, others for protection against them, 
and probably serving for either purpose, on 
occasion. We saw Castle Red upon this 
stage. Two or three pigeon houses in the 
fields of singular construction — slender but 
not narrow buildings, with a shelving roof in 
front, and a straight wall on the back from 
the summit of the roof — the whole being like 
the section of a house cut in half, from the 
ridge of the roof. Laburnums are common 
thus far North, and seem to flourish in the 
hedges and plantations. Still the same well- 
husbanded country, and the same abundant 
harvest : still a great proportion of women in 
the fields, and the female peasantry, and the 
women of the lower orders in the towns, as 
usual filthy, bare-footed, and with Medusa 
papers in their hair. Montrose is a better 


town than Arbroath, the main street broad 
enough to deserve the name of a plaza. 
They are building a townhouse there. 
Several booksellers here, as usual. I bought 
a pamphlett about Joanna Southcote, and 
Erskine's Gospel So7inets, which often as I 
have seen them mentioned, had never before 
fallen in my way. This was the 40th edition. 
Marvellous that such a book, devoid as it is 
of any attraction, except what its subject 
affords to minds in a certain state of feeling, 
and of ignorance, should have become so 
popular ! A weekly newspaper of the most 
incendiary kind is printed at Montrose ; in 
the one which I took up Ferdinand is 
accused, by the plainest inuendo, of having 
murdered his wife. A coarse print of the 
battle of Culloden in the passage of the Inn. 
Twelve miles to Bervie, still along the 
coast, or at little distance from it. Johnnie's 
Haven, a small fishing place, on our right. 
Crost the North Esk (which separates Forfar- 
shire from Kincardineshire) by a handsome 
bridge. The stench of the flax is abominable 
in these parts, so bad indeed that the 
odour from fields manured with putrid fish- 
offal, seemed tolerable in comparison. Near 
Guerden, or Bervie, harbour, which is about a 


mile and half on this side of the town, we 
met Mr Mitchell and Mr Gibb, two of Mr 
Telford's aid-de-camps, who were come thus 
far to meet him. The former he calls his 
Tartar, from his cast of comitenance which 
is very much like a Tartar's, and from his 
Tartar-like mode of life, for in his office of 
Overseer of the Roads which are under the 
management of the Commissioners, he travels 
on horseback not less than 6000 miles a year. 
Mr Telford found him in the situation of a 
working mason, who could scarcely write or 
read ; but noticing him for his good conduct, 
his activity, and his firm steady character he 
has brought him forward, and Mitchell now 
holds a post of respectability and importance, 
and performs his business with excellent 
ability. We left the coach and descended 
with them to the harbour, the first of the 
Parliamentary works in this direction. It 
is a small pier, which at the cost of something 
less than 2000£ will secure this little, wild, 
dangerous, but not unimportant port — not 
unimportant, because coal and lime are landed 
here from Sunderland, and corn shipped, 
much being raised in the adjoining country. 
Mr Gibb has the management of the work. 
The pier will be finished in about two months. 


and will shelter four vessels. The basin has 
been deepened. It was highly gratifying to 
see machinery employed here for the best 
possible pm-pose, facilitating human labour 
and multiplying the strength of man an 
hundredfold. The stones are lifted by a 
crane, with strong iron cramps or pinchers ; 
and an iron rail-road is in use, which is carried 
from pier to pier, wherever it is wanted. 
They use pudding-stone being the nearest 
material ; of all stone it is the worst for 
working, but it is hard and durable, and when 
in its place will do as well as if it were granite 
or marble. Mr Farquhar, the Lord of the 
soil, who has made about 150,000£ as a 
Civilian, advances that half the cost which 
Government requires as the condition of its 
aid with the other. Without national aid 
the work would not have been undertaken, 
tho' in such a place and country it is the first 
step towards improvement. There is a poor 
village at the harbour, under the hill ; a small 
fountain has been erected there by contri- 
bution ; it is supplied with water thro' a pipe 
which is fixed in the side of the hill. Here is 
a great demand for labourers, occasioned by 
the works of a similar kind which are carried 
on every where upon this coast, from Dundee 


northwards, and hands are now particularly 
required, because the harvest has come on 
so fast. Bervie is an ugly town ; larger, but 
not much better than the assemblage of poor 
houses at the harbour. The inn stands apart 
from the town, and is very comfortable. 
We were tempted by the appearance of the 
dinner which was set before the children, 
and sitting down to it ourselves, we dined 

The shore on this part of the coast is 
rocky, and black with sea-weeds. These 
weeds are sometimes used for manure ; but 
after a while they are supposed rather to 
injure the land than to benefit it. I do not 
understand how. They must contain salt 
and gelatinous matter ; and it seems very 
unlikely that there can be anything injurious 
to vegetation in the residuum. The land 
is curiously cut into ravines, or glens, by 
numerous small rivulets, none of which collect 
so as to form a river. Some of them are deep 
enough to have a romantic character. Bervie 
stands at the mouth of the widest of these, 
called Glenbervie ; from whence Sylvester 
Douglas takes his title. Hard by the inn 
is a fine bridge across the glen, apparently 
about sixty feet in height. Allardice, one 


of Colonel Barclay's houses, is in sight. One 
of his Quaker kinsmen once said to this 
curious personage, " Thy ancestor, Robert, 
was remarkable for his head ; and thou art 
remarkable for thy heels." 10 miles to Stone- 
haven — a little, and but little, waste country 
on the way. Passed near Dunottar, one of 
the sea castles, a very extensive ruin. To 
this very ancient, and formerly almost 
impregnable, place, the regalia of Scotland 
used to be sent for security in times of war 
with England. AVhat a blessing that such 
places are only ruins, and how different is the 
feehng which such ruins excite from that 
which depresses the heart at Aberbrothock, 
Melrose, and Glastonbury ! A long and 
striking descent upon the smoky town of 
Stonehaven, with the sea on one side. A 
fine rocky point to the N. protects the bay 
from that quarter. The harbour is secured 
by a small pier, large enough for the place. 
The Inn is on the skirts of the town, as we 
approached it. Mr Loch, the Marquis of 
Stafford's agent, left it just after our arrival, 
travelling south. He is at present exposed 
to much unpopularity and censure for the 
system which he is pursuing.^ Without 

1 Evictions in Sutherland. 



knowing the merits of the case, his appearance 
would prepossess me in his favour. We are 
in an apartment, not less than 26 feet by 20, 
very neatly furnished. 

Friday, August 27. — At tea last night, 
and at breakfast this morning we had Findon 
haddocks, which Mr Telford would not allow 
us to taste at Dundee, nor till we reached 
Stonehaven, lest this boasted dainty of Aber- 
deen should be disparaged by a bad specimen. 
The fish is very slightly salted, and as slightly 
smoked by a peat fire, after which the sooner 
they are eaten the better. They are said to 
be in the market (for the most part) twelve 
hours after they have been caught, and 
longer than twenty four they ought not to 
DC kept. They are broiled, or toasted, I 
know not which ; and are as good as any 
fish of little flavour can be when thus cured. 
The haddocks of this coast are smaller than 
those which are brought to London, or to 
Dublin, and better ; but at the best it is a 
poor fish, a little less insipid than cod. 

15 to Aberdeen. We set out in one of 
those mists which had a right to wet R. 
and myself, as Englishmen, to the skin ; so 
we were all packed in the inside, and the 


landau was closed. The country still in the 
same manner intersected by coombes or 
ravines. As we advanced both the soil and 
the cultivation worsened. Instead of fields 
there were peat - mosses, and these were 
succeeded by wastes where poor heather 
grew among the stones. Yet even in this 
unpromising land great improvements are 
going on. The owners of the soil encourage 
settlers by giving them a few pounds where- 
with to erect a hut, and letting them the 
land for ten years rent free. The tenants 
then clear away the stones (no inconsiderable 
labour) and form with them a rude wall 
round the piece which they have thus brought 
into a state fit for cultivation. In many 
places we saw fair crops growing in inclosures 
of this kind, when on the other side the wall 
all was waste. Thus in a few years this whole 
tract will be reclaimed. I am surprized to 
see how well trees will grow upon this coast, 
very near the sea — how much better than in 
the neighbourhood of Liverpool. 

R. and T. consigning us at Aberdeen to 
the good offices of Mr Gibb, and Mr Haddon 
the Provost, set off with Mitchell to inspect 
a road and some bridges about 30 miles to 
the west. Bought a history of Aberdeen by 


Walter Thorn in two volumes. After dinner 
Mr Gibb (who superintended the improve- 
ments in the harbour here) called, and walked 
with us to the Marischals College. The 
tower is remarkable for a flat roof, raised 
to serve as an observatory, till it is brought 
to a level with the top of the three chimnies 
of the building, which rise side by side, close 
to the tower. We then went along a poor 
part of the city, and a road which was neither 
thro' town nor country, but a dirty mixture 
of both — as far as the Old Town. The King's 
College is a curious building — that part of 
it which contains the Chapel and Library. 
The tower is low, and has a fine specimen 
of the Scottish Crown resembling that at 
Newcastle, but (if I may trust my recollection 
at ten years' distance) suiting the building 
better. Farther on is part of the Old 
Cathedral, perhaps a third of the original 
edifice, in good condition. i This also is a 
singular pile, and unlike any which I can 
call to mind. It has two low spires over 
the west end ; and a square window divided 
by slender stone pillars into a great many 
long and narrow slips. We did not go into 
any of these buildings waiting for R.'s return ; 
he who is a good companion at all times, 


being especially so in such places because of 
his antiquarian knowledge. 

Old Aberdeen is about a mile from the 
New City. It has something of a collegiate 
character — an air of quietness and permanence 
— of old times ; long walls well built in 
former days ; a few old trees, and houses 
standing seperately, each in its garden. 
Gibbs states its population at 1500 ; that of 
the New City is 40,000. Here all is life, 
bustle, business and improvement, for in 
outward and visible improvement this place 
may almost be said to keep pace with 
Edinburgh. Union Street, where our hotel 
stands, is new, and many houses are still 
building — the appearance is very good, 
because they have the finest granite close 
at hand. But the Town-Council has become 
bankrupt thro' these improvements : for 
having to purchase and demolish old houses 
to make room for the new streets they let 
pass the opportunity of disposing of the 
ground to advantage, asking too much for 
it, when the spirit of enterprize was on the 
alert. But they had borrowed money to 
make the purchase, and the interest of this 
debt ran on, while the ground was lying 
unproductive. Of late since mercantile 


adventures have proved so hazardous, monied 
men have thought it safer to embark their 
property in building ; and thus the number of 
houses which are here in progress, becomes, 
hke the late high price of stocks, a fallacious 
measure of the general prosperity. The 
capital however is well employed for the 
public and for the town, whatever it may 
be for the owners. 

Saturday, August 28. — Having for a time 
lost my kind surgeon, I went into the nearest 
apothecary's to have my volcano drest. A 
good looking man performed, but told me 
withal that his brother who was of the 
medical profession would be within the next 
morning— that is this day. Mr Telford had 
told me a story of an Englishman who broke 
his leg in the Highlands, and the two High- 
landers who were carrying him to the nearest 
town laid him down by the way, and bargained 
for the reward of their services, one of them 
saying to the other in Gaelic, which was 
understood by the poor stranger's servant, 
" We must ask enough, for it is not every 
day that an Englishman comes here and 
breaks a leg!" The medical brother re- 
minded me a little of this anecdote. He 


prest much of the sebaceous substance out of 
the tumour, talked of enlarging the orifice, 
of the danger of inflammation communicating 
to the dura mater and so on ; of lying by for 
three days and he affirmed that the contents 
could not be carried off" by suppuration 
because there could be no suppuration where 
there was no vitality. I have very often 
wished myself wholly ignorant of anatomy 
and nosology, having repeatedly felt that a 
smattering in these things serves only to 
disquiet us, both for ourselves and others, 
with apprehensions generally ill-founded, but 
specious. In this case however I knew 
enough to perceive that this man was pre- 
suming upon my ignorance, and endeavouring 
to deceive me by a mixture of nonsense and 
falsehood, for the tumour was actually in a 
state of suppuration, and Dr Wood had told 
me it was in a fair way of being thus dis- 
charged. When Mr Gibb called upon me, 
therefore, I requested that he would take me 
to the best surgeon in the town. This was 
a Mr Kerr, who had formerly been attached 
to the army, and whom we found reading- 
Aristotle in Greek. He assured me there 
was no cause for uneasiness, and no reason 
why I should return home ; and he advised 


me to continue the simple dressing, and 
merely put a plug of lint in the cavity, to 
quicken the discharge. I gave a fee for this 
opinion with great satisfaction, and was 
relieved from no inconsiderable anxiety. 

Mr Gibb brought me two catalogues. 
From the one I purchased Johnstone's 
Antiquitates Celto - Scandicce, and Celto- 
Normannicce ; from the other Paradin's 
Cronique de Savoye, and a French book 
about Dreams, at which I just glanced 
enough to see that it contains some impudent 
and original quackery. It's title is UArt de 
se rendi'e heureuoc par les Songes, cest a dire, 
en se procurant telle espece de Songes que Von 
puisse desirer confcfrmement a ses inclinations. 
Francfort and Leipsic, 1746, 12mo. Brown, 
the chief bookseller in the place, caught my 
name and offered his services with much 
civility. I enquired for Beattie's monument, 
feeling toward the author of JVie Minstrel as 
some of the poets in the next generation may 
feel concerning me. He lies beside his two 
sons, in the churchyard of the double Church, 
which is called the Town's, or the East and 
West Churches. I copied the epitaphs of 
this interesting family. That of the elder 
son is first in order of time : " Jacobo Hay 


Beattie, Jacobi F. | Philos. in Acad. Marischal 
Professori Adolescent!. | Ea Modestia j Ea 
Suavitate Morum, | Ea benevolentia erga 
omnes, | Ea erga Deum pietate, | Ut humanum 
nihil supra : | In bonis Uteris, | In theologia, | In 
omni philosophia Exercitattissimo : j Poetse 
insuper, Rebus in levioribus faceto | In grandi- 
oribus sublimi. | Qui placidam animam efflavit | 
XIX Novemb. 1790. | Annos habens 22, 
diesque 13. | Pater moereus H. M. P." | The 
epitaph of his only brother follows on the 
same stone : " Montagu Beattie, | Jacobi Hay 
Beattie frater. | Ej usque virtutum et studio- 
rum | Emulus,| Sepulchrique consors. | Variarum 
peritus artium, | Pingendi imprimis. ) Natus 
8 Juhi, 1778. | Multum defletus obiit | Decimo 
quarto Martii, 179G." | The Father, who never 
recovered the loss of these his only and 
hopeful children, lies beside them, under a 
stone of the same full-length, thus inscribed : 
" Memoriae Sacrum | Jacobi Beattie L.L.D. | 
Ethices | In Academia Marescallana hujus 
urbis 1 Per XLIII annos | Professoris Meritis- 
simi, 1 Viri | Pietate, Probitate, Ingenio atque 
Doctrina j Prsestantis | Scriptoris Elegantissimi, 
Poeate^ Suavissimi, | Philosophi vere Christiani. | 
Natus est V Nov. Anno 1735. | Obiit 18 Aug. 
1 Sic. 


1803 I Omnibus Liberis Orbus. | Quorum natu 
maximus Jacobus Hay Beattie, | Vel a pueril- 
ibus annis, | Patrio vigens ingenio, | Novumque 
decus jam addens patemo, | Suis carissimus, 
patrias fiebilis, | Lenta tabe consumptus periit | 
Anno astatis 23. | Geo. et Mar. Glennie| 
H. M. P." 

One of these twin Kirks is heated by steam, 
which is conveyed under the aisles, plates of 
perforated iron being laid along the middle of 
them. The cost of the whole apparatus was 
not less than 3000£ — surely a most pre- 
posterous sum to have been so expended. In 
the broad part of Union Street, or what a 
Spaniard might call the Plaza, is a fine old 
cross, villainously defaced by being closed up 
below, and divided into a number of paltry 
stalls. This is the more extraordinary, because 
the Corporation have been desirous to keep 
pace with Edinburgh in their improvements, 
and actually became bankrupt in consequence 
of the enormous expence to which they went 
in embelHshing and benefitting the town. 

When R. and T. returned from their inland 
expedition, we went to the harbour. The 
quay is very fine, and Telford has carried out 
the pier nine hundred feet beyond the point 
where Smeaton's work terminated. This 


great work, which has cost 100,000£, protects 
the entrance from the whole force of the 
North Sea. Gibb had the superintendance of 
the work. A ship was entering under full 
sail — The Piince of JVaterloo — she had been 
to America, had discharged her cargo at 
London, and we now saw her reach her own 
port in safety — a joyous and delightful sight. 
The Whalers are come in, and there is a 
strong odour of train oil, which would rejoice 
the heart of a Greenlander, and really even to 
us it was perfume after the flax. On board 
one of these ships I noticed some jaw bones 
of the fish, hung up by the small end : they 
were bored at the base, and buckets fastened 
to them, into which an oil dropped slowly 
from the bone, finer than any that is extracted 
from the body of the whale ; and for this it is 
that these jaw bones are brought home. I 
have observed that they are much more 
perishable than the bones of any land animal, 
and seem not to endure longer in the open 
air than a piece of wood, but this may be 
because they have been drained of their oil. 
The experiment of filtering oil thro' sand has 
been tried here ; with success as to refining 
the oil, but the process is too slow. The 
harbour dues of this year will exceed 8000£. 


Coal and lime are brought to this country 
from Sunderland, and the lime is carried 
many miles inland for dressing the land. R. 
met thirty carts in succession, laden with it. 
The Cryer here summons the people not by 
bell, but by beat of drum. I saw a beggar in 
the street reading his bible. At the Inn they 
cut off the crust of the loaf, and make their 
bread and butter with only the soft part of 
the bread — a bad practise ; showing that they 
know not what good bread and butter is. 
Melted butter seems not to be used with 
vegetables — or what in honest old English 
used to be called garden-stuff; at least we 
have never seen it. But garden-stuff itself is 
of late introduction into Scotland, tho' the 
Scotch now exceed us as gardeners : Wesley 
says that when he was first in that country, 
they had only one sort of flesh-meat even at 
a nobleman's table, and no vegetables of any 
kind. So rapidly have the people here 
improved in their comforts, and way of life. 
The Findon haddocks are regularly brought 
at breakfast and at tea. They have little glass 
decanters for whiskey of all sizes, down to a 
gill. Whence they get their word mutchkin 
I do not know : the choppin is a measure 
used formerly, and perhaps still at Dijon 


(chopine) and perhaps throughout Burgundy. 
The sash windows have generally two brass 
handles at bottom for lifting them by. 

A new Episcopal Church, with a rich Gothic 
front, is a great ornament to this city. 
Opposite they are erecting a school for 
surgery, which will also be a handsome build- 
ing, of the fine granite which this neighbour- 
hood supplies. The Scotch regard archi- 
tectural beauty in their private houses, as well 
as in their public edifices much more than we 
do ; partly perhaps because their materials are 
so much better. For as for making fine 
buildings with brick, you might as easily 
make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. 

Sunday, 29th August. — T. went off early 
with Gibb and Mitchell for Peterhead, to join 
us at Banff tomorrow. Walked with R. to 
the Old Town. The tower at King's College 
is better than that at Edinburgh, because the 
Scotch Crown is made the crest of the open 
work, instead of forming the open work itself. 
R. noticed in the spires of the Cathedral a 
peculiarity which had escaped my failing 
sight — an imitation of pent-house windows, 
such as are in the high roofs of Flemish 
buildings. We proceeded to the fine old 


bridge over the Don ; it is well placed, having 
rocky abutments on both sides. You look 
up the river between highish and wooded 
banks, down it to the sea, which is within half 
a mile. Mr Forbes has a house and grounds 
a little way up, which might be made very 
beautiful, if the owner regarded anything 
more than money ; but he lets the land, up 
to his very windows. Large fish were very 
active in the river, above the bridge : by the 
splash which they made I supposed them to 
be salmon. 

Left Aberdeen at four in the afternoon, for 
Old Meldrum, a place 18 miles distant, 
whither we had written to secure beds. For 
six miles the road lies by the Inverary^ Canal; 
it then crosses it, and the Don soon after by a 
wooden-bridge. The canal is a losing concern 
to the subscribers ; and Mr Haddon complains 
that it draws off* the water from the Don, 
to the hurt of his mills ; he is a great 
manufacturer, employing 3000 persons ! It 
is however a great benefit to the country, 
and no small ornament to it, with its clear 
water, its banks which are now clothed with 
weedery, and its numerous locks and bridges, 
all picturesque objects and pleasing, where 

1 Inverurie. 


you find little else to look at. Much waste 
land after we crossed the river, but still 
some cultivated fields. Old Meldrum is a 
small village, or townlet, consisting chiefly 
of a plaza in which there is a town-house. 
The Inn is comfortable — more so than if 
there were more pretensions about it. We 
had a fire for the first time on our journey — 
the material was peat. It was well that beds 
had been bespoken ; two persons would have 
passed the night here, unless we had thus 
pre-engaged the quarters ; and then it would 
have been difficult to have housed us. The 
tea kettle had a stand, as if for a lamp, but 
it contained a heater. 

Monday, August 30. — My bed room was 
as small as a ship's cabin ; and a small jug, 
the same which held my poor Scotch allowance 
of water, was placed under the sash window 
to prop it up. A clock which chimed with 
eight sweet bells at every quarter was incon- 
veniently near the door, and I heard every 
hour. A good breakfast as usual in Scotland, 
with Findon haddocks, eggs, sweetmeats 
(preserved blackcurrants formed one) and 
honey. \Q^ to TurrefF — a good deal of waste 
land at first, but with marks of improvement. 


In the cultivated parts there is a naked and 
bleak appearance for want of hedges. The 
people of Aberdeenshire when they inclose 
from a waste, generally use the stones which 
they take out of the ground, to wall it in 
with ; and they seem so accustomed to this, 
that where they have no stones for building 
a fence, they do not think of forming one of 
any other kind, or with any other materials. 
Hence two inconveniences : the cattle must 
always be watched ; and there is no shelter 
for the grain, greatly as shelter must be wanted. 
Left Fy vie Castle on the right, a large building 
and not unpicturesque, belonging to General 
Gordon. The houses here, as R. well 
observed, mark the improving state of this 
part of the country, the old ones not being 
so good as the state of agriculture might seem 
to deserve, the new ones being better than 
the grounds about them. One house was 
neatly and well thatched with ling, with a 
coping of mortar. Yesterday I noticed one 
which had a line of tiles along the eaves, 
under the thatch, to carry off the water. 
Turreff stands prettily on a hill-side, and 
forms a pleasing picture in such a country, 
with a small stream at the bottom, a bridge 
and some bleaching grounds. The country 


round is broken in such a manner that orna- 
mental culture might make it very beautiful. 
The town or village itself more straggling 
than Old Meldrum, but larger : it has one 
kirk in ruins, the one which is in use stands 
in a kitchen garden. The best house in the 
place is a Lawyer's — proof how the profession 
flourishes in Scotland. Watchmakers as well 
as booksellers seem much more numerous 
than in England ; there are three in this 
little place, 

Banff lOj, over the same kind of open 
country, everywhere inoculated with culti- 
vation. The road - menders here have not 
profited by the example which has been set 
them in the West and North. Large heaps 
of large stones are lying in the middle of 
the way, and when they break them and 
lay them on, it is so rudely that no carriage 
which can avoid it will go over them. In 
some places they are actually cutting sods 
and earth from the sides, and laying them 
on the middle ; to make mire in the wet 
season, and dust when it is dry. The 
approach to Banff is fine, by the Earl of 
Fife's grounds, where the trees are surpriz- 
ingly fine considering how near they grow to 
the North Sea ; Duff House, a square, odd 



and not unhandsome pile, built by Adams 
(one of the Adelphi) some forty years ago ; 
a good bridge of seven arches by Smeaton ; 
the open sea, not as we had hitherto seen 
it, grey under a sunless sky, but bright and 
blue in the sunshine ; Banff on the left of 
the bay ; the river Deveran almost lost amid 
banks of gravel where it enters the sea ; a 
white and tolerably high shore trending East- 
ward, a Kirk there with a spire which serves 
for a sea-mark, and on the point, about a 
mile or mile and half to the E., the town 
of Macduff. 

Here we rejoined Mr Telford, Mitchell 
and Gibb, and went with them to the pier, 
which is about half-finished, and on which 
15,000£ will be expended to the great benefit 
of this clean, cheerful, active town. Lord 
Fife has begun a similar work at his town 
of Macduff, the cost has been estimated at 
5000£, but is likely greatly to exceed that 
sum. The pier was a busy scene — hand- 
carts going to and fro on the rail -roads, 
cranes at work charging and discharging 
huge stones, plenty of workmen, and fine 
masses of red granite from the Peterhead 
quarries. The quay was almost covered with 
barrels of herrings, and women employed in 


salting and packing them. They were using 
much more salt than was necessary, and it 
was mortifying to learn that this is done 
because they are allowed an exemption from 
the duty on salt. The barrels are sold by 
weight, and the more salt the worse for the 
fish, but the better for the seller. It seems 
that this exemption which is so well intended, 
and at first appears so just and unexception- 
able, gives occasion to great frauds, smuggling, 
and evil in many ways. 

Except where the odour of herrings pre- 
vailed (which is no bad odour), Banff is a 
clean, fresh town, open to the sea breezes 
and the country air. Mr Gibb took us to 
DufF House in the evening ; the building 
is disfigured in a most extraordinary manner 
by a miserable white washed hovel, with a 
roof of red tiles, actually built on to it at 
one corner! There are many pictures which 
we had not light to see ; I noticed however 
a portrait of Ballasteros, and one of Sir John 
Downie, in attitude chosen by himself no 
doubt, and truly Sir John Downieish. Lord 
Fife has also brought home from his campaigns 
some good Spanish books. The library is at 
the top of the house, and commands a fine 
view of the Bridge and the Sea. 


Tuesday, August 31. — Started at six. 14 
miles to Cullen. About thirty fishing vessels 
were in sight as we ascended the hill from 
Banff. Past thro' Portsoy, at about the half- 
way ; a neat, thriving little place, where a 
good proportion of the houses have gardens, 
and several are prettily clothed with creepers, 
or fruit trees. At one house there was this 
notice, "Minerals collected and polished 
here." The Landlord at Banff, a man of 
good countenance and manners, had told us 
we should see a fine country on our way ; 
it was however very uninteresting till we 
got beyond Portsoy, and entered upon the 
territories of Colonel Grant, the head in 
possession of that family. Lord Seafield being 
insane. Of this family it is related, that the 
chief of some other clan having had a dispute 
with its head concerning the antiquity of 
their respective houses, sent a note to him 
on the following morning, saying that upon 
farther enquiry he was obhged to concede 
the point and acknowledge that his rival's 
race had existed before the Deluge, a degree 
of antiquity beyond anything to which he 
could pretend. In proof of this he referred 
him to his own family bible. Genesis, Chapt. 
6, verse 4. By altering the letter i to an /' 


he had made the text run thus — "There 
were Grants upon the earth in those days." 
The Giant's territories were in better culti- 
vation than the track which we had past, 
and besides extensive plantations of fir upon 
the hills, there were oaks and other trees in 
the valley. Few small birds in this country 
for want of shelter. When we saw a magpye 
this morning, we wondered where it could 
have built its nest, till the wood upon the 
Giant's land explained its appearance. Still 
a want of hedges, and those which have been 
set are neglected. Some miserable fences of 
sod - wall, in every respect the worst that 
could have been erected. We noticed one 
gate, the only one except at turnpikes, which 
we had seen for many many miles ; it stood 
where an inclosure was intended, as if in 
surety for a hedge which is to be. The 
entrance to the Giant's house and grounds 
is by the village or burgh of Cullen, from 
which place after a magnificent breakfast 
(fresh herrings of the finest kind being added 
here to the usual abundance of good things) 
we walked about a mile to the port. 

The works here, of which the whole 
expence will be about 4000£, are in such 
forwardness that the pier at this time affords 


shelter : and when I stood upon it at low 
water, seeing the tremendous rocks with 
which the whole shore is bristled, and the 
open sea to which it is exposed, it was with 
a proud feeling that I saw the first talents in 
the world employed by the British Govern- 
ment in works of such unostentatious, but 
great, immediate, palpable and permanent 
utility. Already the excellent effects are 
felt. The fishing vessels were just come in, 
having caught about 300 barrels of herrings 
during the night. All hands were busy. 
Some in clearing from the nets the fish which 
were caught by the gills ; some in shovelling 
them with a long and broad wooden shovel 
into baskets ; women walked more than knee 
deep into the water to take these baskets on 
their backs, while under sheds erected for a 
protection in hot weather, girls and women 
out of number were employed in ripping out 
the gills and entrails, some others in strewing 
salt over them, and others again in taking 
them from the troughs into which they were 
thrown after this operation, and packing them 
in barrels. Others were spreading the nets to 
dry ; the nets are of a dark brown colour, 
dyed thus by a decoction of alder bark in 
which the thread is dipt to preserve it. Air 


and ocean also were alive with flocks of sea 
fowl, dipping every minute for their share in 
the herring fishery. The barrels sold last 
year for 29 or 30s. ; this year only for 25, 
I believe because more fish have been caught. 
It is only three or four years since they have 
attempted to take herrings off this coast, 
where they are of the best quality, and 
largest size, and in prodigious numbers. The 
season of the fishery lasts from eight to ten 
weeks. A heap of dog-fish were lying on the 
pier, the largest about two feet long, with a 
sort of dog-like head, and snake or lamprey- 
like body. The fishermen consider them as 
their natural enemies, because they tear the 
nets ; they even hate them too much to eat 
them, and put them to death for vengeance. 
Some use however is made of their skins, 
which supply a kind of shagreen. The skins 
of young seals, stript off whole, and inflated 
like bladders, are used as buoys for the nets. 
The seal also is considered a public enemy, 
because he indulges in salmon. The herrings 
are chiefly sent to the West Indies, for the 
slaves, and to the Mediterranean. Bacalhao 
is preferred in the Lisbon market. They 
prepare none by drying. 

A fishing village had already grown up on 


the shore, for the white fishery, and thus 
there was a race of fishermen in existence 
upon the spot when the herrings were dis- 
covered. If the present spirit continues, the 
Dutch will soon be rivalled, and probably 
exceeded in this branch of industry. There 
are sometimes 300 vessels at once employed 
in the Moray firth. The Giant intends to 
remove CuUen from its present site to the 
coast ; and if he carries this intention into 
effect, a town will speedily grow there. The 
removal will be much more convenient for 
the people, and it will give him room about 
his own mansion. This whole line of coast is 
in a state of rapid improvement, private 
enterprize and public spirit keeping pace with 
national encouragement, and it with them. 
Government is to blame for not making its 
good works better known. Of the Roads and 
Bridges I shall have to speak ere long. The 
money which it bestows upon harbours arises 
from the remainder of the rents of the 
forfeited estates ; the whole of which rents 
(till the estates were restored) were designed 
to be appropriated to the improvement of 
Scotland. However much the money may 
have been misapplied during a long series of 
years, by those to whom it was entrusted, the 


remainder could not have been better applied. 
Wherever a pier is wanted, if the people or 
the proprietor of the place will raise half the 
sum required, Government gives the other 
from this fund, as far as it will reach. Upon 
these terms 20,000£ are expending at Peter- 
head, and 14,000 at Frasersburg, and the 
works which we visited at Bervie and Banff, 
and many other such along this whole coast 
would not have been undertaken without this 
aid from Government ; public liberality thus 
directed inducing individuals to tax them- 
selves liberally, and expend with a good will 
much larger sums than could have been drawn 
from them by taxation. At Cullen we took 
leave of that obliging, good-natured, useful 
and skilful man, Mr Gibb. 

12 to Fochabers. Here Mitchell's man 
met him with his gig, and brought letters 
from Inverness — among them was one for 
me from home, written on the 23 — all well 
at that time, God be thanked. A hop-vine 
in one of the gardens here ; far north as 
we are, the plant covered its pole and was 
flourishing. Walked into the Duke of 
Gordon's park, and looked at his great ugly 
house. There is a Zebu, a small, hump- 
backed Indian cow, in the park. Two fox- 


brushes in the inn-room where we dined, a 
print of the late notorious Duchess of Gordon 
in her youth, and another taken toward the 
close of her life. The Elegant Extracts in 
three well-bound volumes were in the room. 
I believe that both in Ireland and Scotland 
the inns have generally a few books for 
the use of their guests, which is not common 
in England. The Duke lets the salmon 
fishery for 7000£ a year (a sum almost 
incredible) with a stipulation that he himself 
is to be supplied at sixpence per pound. But 
he has made no such stipulation for the 
people of the place ; they can only obtain it 
as a favour and at the price of a shilling. 
This is a great injustice and vexation, growing 
out of a feudal right, in the origin of which 
no such wrong could possibly have been 
contemplated. They spoil this fish very 
commonly in Scotland by cutting it in slices 
fit for broiling, and boiling it in that form. 

Near this little town is a bridge over the 
Spey, of five arches, the middle one 90 feet 
high. 8 miles to Elgin. Here the ruins of 
the Cathedral made me again, as at Arbroath, 
groan over the brutal spirit of mob-reforma- 
tion. The area of the ruins is used for a 
cemetery ; and round it is a series of private 


burial places, walled seperately, and secured 
each with its door. There are graves also 
in the Chapter house, where the roof and the 
central pillar are entire. We went on the 
roof — one of the symptoms which I perceive 
in myself of declining life is that such places 
make me giddy, and I can no longer rely 
upon myself among crags and steep places 
as I used to do. The city has an ancient 
air, and an appearance of decay about it ; but 
an old church and an old prison standing in 
the middle of a very broad street certainly 
ornament the place instead of disfiguring it, 
as some blockhead complains in a Traveller's 
guide. A bell rings here at eight o'clock, and 
an abominable drum is beaten at nine. 

Wednesday, September 1. — The same drum 
at five ; but both Mr T. and I had just awoke 
to the very minute appointed. All possible 
faults of bedmaking were exemplified to a 
nicety in my bed last night. The under sheet 
was spread over the bolster instead of being 
wrapt round it ; the upper one too short, so 
that it scarcely turned over the blanket ; the 
bed or mattrass (I know not which it ought to 
be called) hard, higher in the middle than at the 
sides, and sloping in an inclined plane to the 


foot. Nevertheless I slept well ; and I am 
now tolerably accustomed to the inconvenience 
of not being able to lie on the right side, 
because of my volcano. Leaving the Ladies 
and the children here, who were to proceed 
to Nairn without us, we started at six to 
see the bridges and roads in Strathspey, 
T. and M. in M.'s gig, R. and myself in 
another. The morning promised well. We 
entered upon a bad road and a dreary country, 
without cultivation or inhabitants, a mere 
waste of heath. After a few miles it improved ; 
and the first habitations which we saw were 
an assemblage of cottages near a neat and 
comfortable house, belonging to some Laird, 
who has fine fields in cultivation round about 
him, and a fine wood in view, across the 
valley. Ere long we reached the village of 
Rothes, ten miles from Elgin. One long and 
high wall of the Castle is remaining ; the rest 
has been destroyed for the sake of the stones ; 
and the people had picked out so many from 
the bottom of the remaining part, in a manner 
more like Irish than Scotchmen, that buttresses 
have lately been built to prop it. From the 
eminence upon which it stands there is a good 
view of Rothes and the valley. The village 
seems to consist of three long streets toward 


the different roads ; all composed of new 
cottages, neatly built, of one floor each, side 
by side, and with a mournful uniformity such 
as immediately told you they had not risen in 
the natural course of happy and enterprizing 
industry, but had been built at once by the 
Lord of the soil, and planted as a colony. 
Were it not for this Paraguayan or Owen-ish 
sameness, the place would be chearful, standing 
in a pleasing country, and with marks of 
improvement on every side. Here also is 
a watchmaker ; and I observed in some of 
the little shop-windows, as odd symptoms of 
civiUzation, "stamps sold here," "vinegar 
two-pence per gill," and bottles of "Asiatic 
Ink." The little inn was very comfortable, 
without any pretensions to finery ; and there 
is in the garden, to borrow a clean word from 
France (a country which has little cleanhness 
to lend) that Commodity the want of which 
was formerly the reproach of Scotland, but 
is no longer so, for, except at Aberfeldy, I 
have found it at every place where we have 
stopt. An excellent breakfast, with broiled 
salmon from the Spey, butter both potted 
and fresh, honey, and preserved gooseberries. 
It began to rain when we renewed our 
journey, but held up before we had advanced 


two miles, when we came upon Craig-Elachie 
Bridge, one of Telford's works, and a noble 
work it is. The situation is very fine, under 
the crag from which it takes its name, and of 
which a great part, to the height perhaps 
of 100 feet has been cut away in making a 
road to it. That road brings the traveller 
by a short tour to the two short turrets 
at the entrance of the bridge : on this side 
they are merely ornamental, on the other 
their weight is necessary for the abutment. 
The bridge is of iron, beautifully light, in 
a situation where the utility of lightness is 
instantly perceived. The span is 150 feet, the 
rise 20 from the abutments, which are them- 
selves 12 above the usual level of the stream. 
The only defect, and a sad one it is, is that 
the railing for the sake of paltry economy 
is of the meanest possible form, and therefore 
altogether out of character with the rest of 
the iron work, that being beautiful from its 
complexity and lightness. But this farthing- 
wisdom must now appear in everything that 
Government undertakes ; and thus the appear- 
ance of this fine bridge has been sacrificed for 
the sake of a saving, quite pityful in such a 
work. Mr T. undertook to finish the bridge 
in twelvemonths : it was begun in June, and 


opened in the October following. The iron- 
work was cast at Plas Kynaston, and brought 
by the canal over his great aqueduct at 
Pontey-Syllty. The whole cost of the bridge 
and approaches on each side was £8,200. 

From thence we proceeded 12 miles up 
the valley of the Spey by a county road, 
tolerably good in comparison with ordinary 
roads, but ill laid-out and ill-made — the 
country of a highland-w^ character on both 
sides the strath. Near Inveraron turnpike 
we turned aside to Ballindalloch (properly 
Ballnadallauch, "the town of the level vale,") 
the residence of Mr Macpherson Grant, 
member for Sutherlandshire. It is a Flemish- 
looking castle, with some appendages added 
about fifty years ago, and making altogether 
a good comfortable house. The last owner 
was General Grant, the person, if I mistake 
not, who lost the fairest opportunity of 
success offered during the whole American 
war. His successor is a sensible and agre- 
able man — of six feet two. He shewed us 
a portrait of General Wade with a blue 
velvet robe over his breast-plate — and a wig ! 
the countenance mild and pleasing, by no 
means deficient in intellect, but not indicating 
a strong mind. 


We walked about his pleasant grounds 
while a luncheon was setting forth, which 
turned out to be dinner, for his accommoda- 
tion and ours, as he was going that afternoon 
to Elgin that he might receive Prince Leopold 
there tomorrow. For the first time I tasted 
sheep's head broth, which is rather better 
than hodge-podge ; the flavour of the burnt 
wool hardly differs from what might be 
given by burnt bread, and might be better 
obtained by burnt cheese. The head itself 
was a separate and ugly dish, which I did 
not taste, supposing it to be as bad as calves- 
head. We closed all with a bottle of claret, 
and took our leave at four, well pleased with 
our host, his family and his habitation. He 
is a very domestic and useful man ; and has 
been the great promoter of the roads in this 
part of the country. 

The Avon joins the Spey in his grounds, 
and Mr T. has saved from ruin a bridge 
over it, the span of which is 80 feet. From 
this bridge his road begins, and we followed 
it twelve miles to Grantown ; but the first 
part had been begun by the county, and 
therefore that their cost and labour might 
not be expended in vain, he went over the 
hill to meet it, instead of keeping the course 


of the valley. One of his rules is that the 
road be always defined, if it be only by a 
line of turf on either side where nothing 
more is needed ; for this defining prevents 
any excuse if the road is not kept in order 
by the Contractors. Toward the hill there 
is a low stone line. If the hill be cut away, 
it is walled a few feet up, then sloped, and 
the slope turfed ; if there be no slope, a 
shelf must be left, so that no rubbish may 
come down upon the road. The inclination is 
toward the hill. The water-courses are always 
under the road, and on the hill-side back 
drains are cut, which are conducted safely 
into the water-courses by walled descents, 
like those upon the Mount Cenis road, but 
of course upon a smaller scale. This road 
is as nearly perfect as possible. After the 
foundation has been laid, the workmen are 
charged to throw out every stone which is 
bigger than a hen's egg. Every precaution 
is taken to render the work permanent in 
all its parts. Thus where a beck coming 
down from the hills is bridged, the beck 
itself for some distance above the bridge is 
walled, to keep it within bounds ; the founda- 
tions of the bridge are laid two feet below 
the bottom of the stream, and for farther 



security, the bottom itself, under the arch, 
is secured by an inverted arch of stones 
without mortar. 

It rained heavily and blew hard during 
the greater part of this stage. The apron 
protected our feet and knees ; and the 
umbrella our heads and shoulders, but we 
were wetted in tail. The storm lasted about 
an hour and half; luckily it held up when 
we came to General Wade's bridge over the 
Spey. Like all the General's bridges, it was 
miserably constructed, and had a tremendous 
rise : this evil has been corrected, and the 
bridge itself preserved from the ruin which 
must otherwise speedily have befallen it — 
but there are tremendous cracks in two of 
the arches. Grantown is about a mile beyond. 

Grantown — which must not be understood 
to mean Villa Grande, but Gigantopolis, or 
Reisenburg — Grant-Town — is a dull uniform 
village, not quite so uniform as Rothes, but 
duller. A man who had amassed some 
hundreds as sergeant and messman in the 
army has taken a small inn here, the Grants 
Arms. His wife, a forward, vulgar, handsomish 
woman, from Portsmouth, seems to hold 
Grantown in great contempt. She came to 
apologise for not having enough wheaten 


bread ; a party of soldiers, twenty men with 
an officer and a subaltern employed in the 
trigonometrical survey having slept there the 
preceding night, and eaten everything before 
them. In the morning she expected " capital 
wheaten bread from Nairn, for I never 
deipends for any thing upon this place," and 
she recommended scones — cakes made of 
wheaten and oaten-flour, as what she herself 
liked very much. The room has some prints 
in true Portsmouth taste, of Marquis 
Cornwallis receiving the sons of Tippoo 
Saib ; the Archduke Charles and General 
Suwarrow, and the funeral of the Princess 
Charlotte. The furniture is as little in 
keeping with the situation and size and 
exterior of the inn, as with such vulgar 
prints. These foolish people have wasted 
their money in plate, in an expensive 
mahogany side-board, good mahogany chairs, 
with hair-bottoms and brass nails, and most 
expensive bed-steads, the house not being 
better than a village alehouse, and out of the 
way or possibility of much custom. Indeed 
I learn from T. that the former tenants have 
all been ruined. 

We dried ourselves by a beautiful peat-fire ; 
beautiful it may well be called, for I never 


saw coal or wood build up a finer body of fire. 
The chimneys are adapted to this fuel by two 
tapering buttresses which contract the inner 
hearth on which the peat is placed. The 
scones proved not amiss, but there was bread 
enough. We had a comfortable tea, indulged 
afterwards in half a mutchkin of whiskey, 
and to bed. 

Thursday, September- 2. — Started at 7. 14 
miles to Fairn-ness Inn, along one of the 
military roads, reformed by the Commissioners. 
The country for almost the whole way a 
waste ; heath growing in peat earth, and a 
sandy gravel beneath ; some of General 
Wade's steep bridges over the little becks, 
and toward the end of the stage, some pools, 
or small lakes. Fairn-ness Inn is a single 
house, neither better nor worse than it ought 
to be, built by Sir James Montgomery 
Cunningham,^ an Ayrshire man, of good 
property in his own country, (and good 

1 He purchased it when he was Major Cunningham, 
with the fortune which he received with his wife, one 
of the Cummings of Logic. He brought no good 
fortune from the East Indies. In his journey overland he 
passed over the ruins of Babylon and furnished some 
notes to Rennell. See Appendix to the Geography of 


fortune acquired in the East Indies,) who 
has purchased some 7000 acres here, whereof 
6200 are barren, besides the hills — so we 
found it stated in a huge map of his purchase. 
He had just left the Inn, after having resided 
there thirteen weeks with his family, the 
house not being more convenient in any 
respect than a common country alehouse in 
England. To us the excellent road from 
Grantown might have appeared unaccountable 
in such a land, for between that place and this 
we have not past above a score of habitations, 
most of them as black as peat stacks in their 
appearance, the peat stack in reaUty generally 
forming part of the edifice — peat stack, peat 
sty, and peat house being altogether : the 
roofs also are covered with turf, or peat, on 
which grass and heather grow comfortably, 
and probably the better because of the smoke 
which warms the soil. But great quantities 
of wood are brought from Strathspey by this 
line to the coast. Mitchell has sometimes 
met thirty carts together. 

Some half-mile below the Inn is Fairn-ness 
Bridge, so Sir James desires that the word 
may be spell'd, in order that its meaning may 
be preserved, which is, it seems, the Alder- 
rapid : there is a small rapid a little above, 


and there may have been, and perhaps still 
may be, alders near. It is a good plain 
bridge, built by the Commissioners, and here 
also we were able to walk under one of the 
arches and see the foundation. The walls by 
the wayside are built of granite of all colours 
— an appearance which we noticed also upon 
our yesterday's road. Near the bridge is a 
bank of granite, in such a state either of 
decomposition, or of imperfect composition, 
that it crumbles at a touch. We walked 
thither while breakfast was preparing and 
returned to a good fire and a comfortable 
meal. Salted herrings were part of our fare ; 
but for the first time no sweetmeats were 
produced. The woman told us she had just 
heard that the fishing vessels from Burgh- 
head had lost their nets, so many herrings 
having been caught in them that they were 
not able to lift them out of the water. Upon 
enquiry at Nairn we found that this had 
really happened. As soon as the herrings 
die they sink, and then the net is lost. Many 
vessels have thus lost their nets lately, some 
have drifted to Fort Rose and there been 
recovered ; and the sea is said to be infected 
with the stench of the dead fish. 

The furniture at Fairn - ness plain and 


decent, suitable to the place ; the grate is 
of a form and kind which I have never seen 
elsewhere — a triangular sort of gridiron, fitted 
to the chimney and with the hypotenuse in 
front : it is meant for a peat fire. 12 miles 
to Forres. We entered presently upon an 
improved country, which when Mr Telford 
travelled this way last was in the same con- 
dition as the dreary track we left behind. 
It is plain therefore that the worst ground 
here is improvable. To attempt raising grain 
is foolish on high ground, and not very wise 
in the best part of this region ; but potatoes 
and green crops will succeed, and trees will 
grow anywhere. Fine views on the Findhorn 
and on the Divey, one of its confluents which 
we crost. Extensive plantations of fir. When 
we were within half a mile of Forres we dis- 
covered two carriages and four, approaching 
the town from the side of Nairn. This we 
were sure must be Prince Leopold, so to 
avoid the crowd we took a back road, and 
entered at the same time from the opposite 
side. The whole place was in commotion. 
Two bells, the whole peal of one kirk, were 
working away, ding-dong, ding-dong, and one 
in another went ding, ding — a comical presby- 
terian attempt at bell ringing — and from a 


sort of summer house on a wooded hill, called 
Nelson's Tower, one gun was fired as fast 
as it could be loaded. In the midst of this 
bustle we stopt at Loudon's Hotel. The 
Prince was taken to another, and much worse 
house, by the Marquis of Huntley, for this 
notorious reason, that it is kept by a woman 
who — is kept by him. 

We walked about half a mile to see one 
of the most noted monuments of antiquity 
in Scotland. The pillar is in a field, by the 
road side. Its back and sides are elaborately 
ornamented, very much in the fashion in 
which French cards are patterned on the 
back : there are some figures for about three 
feet from the base, and the whole front is 
covered with figures, which tho' much defaced 
by time, still represent men and beasts, and 
slain. The pillar is a sand-stone ; but perish- 
able as this material is, it has long outlasted 
all other memorial of an event, the memory 
of which it was intended to perpetuate. 
Nearer the town two stones are shown by 
the road side as marking the spot where 
the witches who prophecied to Macbeth 
were burnt alive. 

Here I called on Eleanor Castle, at Lady 
Gumming Gordon's, where Heaven knows 

NAIRN 105 

how many persons came in by one, by two, 
and by three, to look at me and repeat their 
civilities. A little boy, three years old, in 
the full dress of a Highland Chief, had just 
been mounted on a Shetland poney, to visit 
Prince Leopold, and present him a basket 
of apricots — it was the child's own desire 
to do this ; he was indulged accordingly, and 
was of course very graciously received. I 
believe it was the young heir of the 

Dined at Forres, and then proceeded 11 
miles to Nairn, crossing the heath which is 
fixed upon as the scene where the Witches 
met Macbeth. We met a Gentleman's 
carriage, with an Asiatic on the dickey, 
whiskered and wearing a turban. I im- 
mediately supposed him to be the Tartarian 
Sultan, Alexander Katagherry Krimgherry, 
who according to the newspapers is come to 
Scotland to qualify himself for a Missionary ; 
and remarked upon the oddity of meeting 
in such a part of the world, a Prince and 
a Sultan on the same day. But the Land- 
lord at Nairn told us the supposed Sultan 
was a servant whom some East Indian had 
brought over, and who, he said, was a 
Mahommet. An arch of flowers, surmounted 


by a Thistle, was erected round the door of 
our Inn, in honour of Prince Leopold ; he 
had been entertained there in the morning 
with what mine Host called a cold CoUeclion ; 
and the Freemasons had gone with all their 
insignia in procession to welcome him. 

Here we rejoined the Ladies and the 
Children, and here I found a small parcel 
directed to me, at MacGregor's Hotel, Elgin, 
to be forwarded in case I should have left 
that town. It contained a Diploma from 
— the Literary Society of Banff, constituting 
me one of their honorary Members — a letter 
from their Secretary, the Revd. Abercrombie 
Gordon, and a pamphlett containing their 
Rules, and the Catalogue of their Library, 
in six and thirty pages — title page included. 
The Constitution and Regulations of the 
Society occupy twelve of these pages, and 
exemplify that habit of attaching importance 
to insignificant things, which is said to 
characterize the Scotch in much more serious 
concerns. The Honorary Members are almost 
as numerous as the Ordinary Ones, and the 
Library contains about a thousand volumes 
of the most common - place kind. My 
Diploma (!) however is in great form, upon 
a large piece of parchment, with the seal in 

NAIRN 107 

a Till box— suspended by a purple ribband. 
The Seal of the Soc. Lit. Banff is a Bee 
hive, and the motto Alveum Accipite. 

When Mr Telford and I retired to our 
double-bedded room, we heard a great knock- 
ing over head, and ringing the bell to request 
that the persons above might be desired to be 
less noisy, were told that it was only the 
Masons, who had just done, and were going 
away. We went to bed, but the knocking 
and other unaccountable noises continued at 
intervals till one o'clock ; T. then exclaimed 
that this was too bad ; and as it was impossible 
to sleep, we began to talk about it. I who, 
when the Chamber-maid spoke of the Masons, 
understood that word in its usual meaning, 
observed now that she must have intended to 
equivocate by saying that they were just 
going away, and not adding that others were 
coming to relieve them, for I supposed they 
were employed up on the roof of the house, 
and were working at it without intermission, 
day and night, in order to compleat it while 
the weather continued dry. Thus I had 
reasoned in a disturbed and half dreamy state, 
when neither asleep nor awake. But T. 
laughing at my mistake, told me the Free- 
masons were holding a lodge upstairs. So 


it proved to be. Two or three tradesmen 
of the town, smitten by the glories of the 
procession in the morning, had applied immedi- 
ately for admission ; a lodge had forthwith 
been convened, and immediately over our 
heads, at midnight, the aspirants were going 
thro' what in their Diplomas are called "the 
great and tremendous trials" of initiation. 
Whether I actually heard a great cry or only 
dreamt it I am not certain, but I think I 
heard it. 

Friday, Septemher 3. — The building at 
Nairn with a spire, which at a distance makes 
it appear like a Church, is the Prison. On the 
boundary of the Parish is a rude obelisk, 
about six feet high, said to mark the grave 
of a Chief who lost his life in a quarrel about 
a Cheese — an adventure which ought to have 
happened in AVales. Seven miles to Fort 
George, over a level and dreary country. 
Fort George stands on a neck of land, almost 
opposite to which another slip extends from 
the coast of Ross-shire, contracting the passage 
of the Firth at that part to the breadth of 
about a mile. From hence you look up the 
Firth to the mountains on each side the great 
Glen of Scotland, now noted for the Caledonian 


Canal. The Fort is a specimen of regular 
fortifications which may be regarded without 
one melancholy reflection, no gun having ever 
been fired in anger either from or against it. 
Not that I mean to speak of it with contempt ; 
• — far otherwise. It was necessary when it was 
built, and is useful now. We ought to have 
some such place where Officers may make 
themselves practically acquainted with fortifi- 
cations. It will hold 1900 men, but at present 
has scarcely more than a 19th part of that 
number. The interior a good deal resembles 
one of the Inns of Court. In some of the 
covered ways, the weeds which grow between 
the palisade and the wall, have reached more 
than double the height which they would 
have attained in another situation ; shooting 
up toward the air and light, they are full 
ten feet high. 

13 to Inverness. We met a large party 
of men and women, chiefly sailors, with a 
funeral. The body was borne on a hand bier, 
covered with an old velvet pall. Cawdor 
Castle Avas in sight ; and we passed by Stuart 
Castle, a ruin of the Flemish kind. The 
road is a military one repaired by the 
Commissioners. It was Fair Day when we 
arrived, and the streets were filled, mostly 


with women ; they appear never to wear hats 
or bonnets — but either a white cap, or a 
white handkerchief over the head ; or the 
head is bare. 

Here I sent for a surgeon, Kennedy by 
name, who was an acquaintance of Mr 
Telfords. His report was not a pleasant 
one ; proud - flesh has formed within the 
cavity, and he means to apply a mercurial 
ointment, but he says there is no occasion 
either for confinement or rest. He is said 
to be a good surgeon, and has had long 
experience in the army — yet he talked of 
correcting my blood by Epsom Salts ! As 
if a tumour of ten years' standing had anything 
to do with the present state of my blood, 
or as if Epsom Salts could alter that state. 
If I were to remain here he would apply 
caustics ; this ointment is escharotick, to 
produce the same effect more slowly. I took 
only half his dose, because no medical man 
will be persuaded that half the quantity of 
any medicine which would be required for 
other men, suffices for me. 

Saturday, September 4. — The Canal here 
was under the superintendence of Mr Davison, 
a strange, cynical humourist, who died lately. 


He was a Lowlander who had lived long 
enough in England to acquire a taste for 
its comforts, and a great contempt for the 
people among whom he was stationed here ; 
which was not a little increased by the sense 
of his own superiority in knowledge and 
talents. Both in person and manners he is 
said to have very much resembled Dr Johnson ; 
and he was so fond of books, and so well 
read in them, that he was called the Walking 
Library. He used to say, of Inverness, that 
if justice were done to the inhabitants there 
would be nobody left there in the course 
of twenty years but the Provost and the 
Hangman. Seeing an artist one day making 
a sketch in the mountains, he said it was the 
first time he knew what the hills were good 
for. And when some one was complaining 
of the weather in the Highlands, he looked 
sarcastically round, and observed that the rain 
would not hurt the heather crop. 

Sixty years ago there were no shops in 
Inverness. Booths were at that time erected 
in the streets, as they are now at fair-time. 
And still at fairs, and on market days, altho' 
there are numerous shops and good ones, men 
stand in the streets with pieces of cloth or 
linen under their arms for sale. 


The smoke-jack was close to my bed- 
room, and its sound was as lulling as that 
of a spinning-wheel, or of a brook. Kennedy- 
came in the morning, and pronounced that 
his ointment had already improved the 
appearance of the discharge. The post this 
day made amends for yesterday's disappoint- 
ment by bringing a letter from Edith May. 
All well, and Cuthbert's arm compleatly 
healed at last, after vaccination. The sore 
had continued a long time — and I am now 
relieved from one of those petty anxieties 
which affect me more than they ought to do. 
We set out after breakfast, and stopt at 
Mrs Davison's door, the widow of the 
humourist, whose son has succeeded to his 
office. She put into the carriage a basket 
of excellent gooseberries, and some of the 
finest apricots I ever saw or tasted, which 
have grown out of doors ; the season has been 
unusually favourable, and her husband was 
fond of cultivating his garden. The road 
crosses the Caledonian Canal, just below the 
four Locks which bring it down to the level 
of Loch Beauly. No time could be spared 
now for examining this entrance of the great 
work ; we left that for our regular survey : 
but the sight of this point was an exhilarating 


one for the whole party, especially to Mr and 
Mrs R., and we stood up and gave three 
cheers as we were crossing the draw-bridge. 
Ten miles to Lovat Bridge, over the 
Beauly, more properly called by its native 
name the Varrar. Here we turned aside, and 
went four miles up the river, along the 
Strath- Glas road — one of the new works, 
and one of the most remarkable of them, 
for the difficulty of constructing it, and for 
the scenery which it commands upon the 
Varrar. Three points deserve particular 
notice. The First is the Falls of Kilmorack ; 
on the right bank, which is the opposite shore 
to the point of view, there is a small saw 
mill ; a corn mill on the left bank, and some 
islanded pieces of rock and ground in the 
middle of the falls, connected by a few planks 
in one place, and in another by a frame which 
covers a salmon trap. The shores are high, 
the stream wide and rapid (for it is a 
considerable river), and the weres and falls 
form a scene singularly wild and complicated. 
On the one side, a lad was angling, knee deep 
in the water ; on the other a woman was 
beating linen in the river — a practice which 
makes washing a cleanly and picturesque 
operation. Sometimes a dozen salmon have 



been caught here in the course of a single 
night merely by laying branches along the 
shelves of rock, to catch them if they fail in 
the leap, and prevent them from falling into 
the water. Lord Lovat once disposed some 
boiling kettles about these falls in such a 
manner that he served his guests with fish 
which had leapt from the river into the pot. 
When Mr Telford was here last year, the 
minister, as is the custom when the Sacrament 
is administered, was preaching to a numerous 
congregation in the churchyard — a fine 
circumstance in so impressive a scene. These 
falls were seldom visited before the new road 
was made. The last Minister of Kilmorack 
built a kind of summer house in a corner of 
the church yard, which commands one of the 
best points of view ; and this he did chiefly 
with the good natured intention of providing 
for strangers a place of rest and shelter. His 
successor is said not to be so accommodating. 
The second of these grand scenes is about 
a mile farther up. Mrs Fraser of Lovat 
(who died yesterday), the widow of Simon, 
son of the decapitated Lord, made a path 
to the best point of view. The river comes 
down with great force, and about a third 
of the way across from the left bank several 


high rocks stand up, like the Needles. The 
shores are very high, and of pudding stone. 
The third scene is at the Saw Mills of 
Tynessie, a little farther up. The river 
dividing into two branches of nearly equal 
size, forms an island called Agaish, which 
is nearly two miles in circuit, high ground, 
consisting of rock and wood. Where the 
channels reunite is this extensive saw mill, 
which was established in the year 1765, but 
having done its work is now out of use, 
and falling fast to decay. Timber to the 
amount of 200,000£ has been sawn there. 
The planks were floated down the river, and 
to defend the bridge from such battering 
rams, the angles of the piers are protected 
with cast iron cuttei^s, as they are called — 
a sort of armour which effectually secures 
it not only from timber, but from the 
floating ice. 

The road itself is an object which adds 
greatly to the beauty and interest of these 
scenes. It is carried along the side of the 
cliff*, in many places it is cut in the cliff*, 
and in many supported by a high wall — a 
work of great labour, difficulty and expence. 
We just went far enough to get one view 
into Strath Glas, a cultivated country which 


by means of this road is enabled to com- 
municate with Inverness, and the civilized 
world. There is no English word which 
will convey the full meaning of the Gaelic 
Strath, tho' the word itself may probably be 
of Latin derivation : it means the whole 
cultivable opening, whether of level, or hilly 
ground, thro' which a river flows, a meaning 
which with little violence may be deduced 
from stratum. The whole pass which we 
went along is called the Dream, what the 
interpretation of this name may be, I cannot 

Lovat Bridge, to which we returned, cost 
8800£. The foundations were expensive, 
and the stone was not at hand. It is a 
plain handsome structure of five arches, two 
of 40 feet span, two of 50, and the centre 
of 60. The curve is as little as possible. 
I learnt in Spain to admire straight bridges ; 
but T. thinks there always ought to be some 
curve, that the rain water may run off, and 
because he would have the outline look like 
the segment of a larger circle, resting on the 
abutments. A double line over the arches, 
which marks the road -line, gives a finish to 
the bridge, and perhaps looks as well, or 
almost as well, as ballustrades — for not a 


sixpence has been allowed for ornament in 
these public works. The sides are protected 
by water-wings, which are stone embank- 
ments, to prevent the flood from extending 
on either hand, and attacking the flanks. 

Dined at Beauly, a village near the bridge, 
which takes its name from Beaulieu Priory, 
here called a Cathedral. Several huge iron 
kettles were lying out of doors here — a great 
deal of salmon being pickled here, for exporta- 
tion. Some fine elms, sycamores, and ashes 
are standing by the ruins, and a few fruit 
trees, the remains of what the Monks had 
planted ; they are now in decay, (reformation 
having carried ruin with it in all these places !) 
but the fruits (cherries, apples and pears) are 
remembered as having been of the very best 
kind. It is rather an extensive ruin, with 
some trefoil windows, an uncommon form, 
which did not deserve imitation. The area, 
as usual, serves for a cemetery. A few bones 
and skulls have been collected, and laid 
decently in some of the recesses of the wall. 
On one of the grave stones is the figure of 
a warrior much defaced, but still showing by 
how rude an artist it was sculptured. 

Here we had a decent dinner of salted ling, 
eggs, mutton chops, and excellent potatoes, 


with ginger-beer, and good port wine at what 
appeared no better than an English alehouse. 
The house is kept by an Irishman, who 
speculates in road -making. Nine miles to 
Dingwall. Crost Conan Bridge, over a river 
of the same name. It resembles Lovat Bridge 
exactly, except that the arches are each five 
feet wider, and higher in proportion. Yet it 
cost much less (about 6500£) because the 
foundation was better, and the materials lay 
more conveniently. A village consisting of 
some twelve or fourteen houses has already 
grown up at the bridge, begun for the con- 
venience of the workmen employed upon it. 

Dingwall, the capital of Ross-shire (remind- 
ing me in its name of the Icelandic capital 
Thingvalla) is a vile place. 3800£ however 
has been expended in cutting a channel for 
its little river Peffer, and making two small 
basins. It exports timber and grain, and 
receives the necessaries of lime and coal. The 
channel which is little more than a mile in 
length has been finished about four years ; 
but already thro' neglect the sea-wall shews 
symptoms of decay, and the mud has lessened 
the depth of water three feet. It opens into 
the bay of Cromarty. 

There is a ridiculous obelisk opposite the 


Kirk, considerably out of the perpendicular, 
and supported with numberless iron cramps 
and bars. The story is that an old woman 
being aggrieved by an Earl of Cromarty, said 
she should live to see the grass growing over 
his head. He died shortly after this prediction 
of enmity was uttered, and to disappoint its 
literal fulfilment, enjoined his heirs to erect 
this pillar exactly upon the spot where his 
head should be laid. The obelisk however 
is modern, and seems to have been erected by 
some foolish person as an object. 

Sunday, September 5. — A strange poor 
fellow in Mr T.'s employ, whom he calls 
Davy, and who is so fond of whiskey that, 
for the sake of his family he cannot be trusted 
with the money he earns, has been the means 
of paving the streets of Dingwall. Such a 
mark of civilization ill accords with the general 
aspect of the place. Set off at 7 for Inver- 
gordon — 15 miles. The town looked well 
as we left it. The Kirk, the Obelisk, and the 
tower of its prison (prison and town house 
being generally the same in Scotland, there is 
commonly a tower to it) are prominent 
objects ; behind is a long hill with firs upon 
the summit, and a large plantation on the 


right ; and the firth of Cromarty, which we 
were skirting, in the foreground. It was low 
water, and the upper end of the firth was a 
sheet of mud, with a channel in the middle. 

Past thro' several small villages ; and by an 
estate on which Sir Hector Monro expended 
the whole wealth which he acquired in India, 
so that he was obliged to go to India again 
and make a second fortune for the purpose 
of enabling him to live upon it. The spoils 
of the East have seldom been better employed, 
than in bringing this tract which was then 
waste ground, into a good state of cultivation. 
There are extensive plantations on the hills 
behind the house, and some odd edifices on 
the summits which he is said to have designed 
as imitations of the hill-forts in India. One 
of them appeared like a huge sort of Stone- 
henge ; but we saw it only from a distance. 

In some of the Kirk-yards a thing like a 
watch box is standing ; it is used as a pulpit 
when the Sacrament sermons are preached. 
The Sacrament is administered only once a 
year ; there are sermons on the Thursday and 
Friday preceding, and the Monday following ; 
great congregations generally attend, and 
therefore the preaching is in the open air. 

Last year T. met the whole Kirk-going 


population of one of these villages, on their 
way to attend divine service at Dingwall, 
seven miles off, because they had quarrelled 
with the minister of their own parish. For 
the last hundred miles at least I have noticed 
an ugly fashion of sticking little pieces of 
slate in the mortar between all the stones 
with which the houses are faced. The mortar 
is said to set the better ; and a dark slate is 
preferred from a vile fancy that this regular 
dotting improves the appearance of the 
building. Invergordon where we breakfasted 
is an ugly village, in an important situation, 
at the ferry by which this part of the country 
communicates with the Black Isle, and so, 
by another ferry with Fort George, thus 
saving a day's journey. Piers for the use 
of this ferry, here and on the opposite coast, 
are nearly finished ; the cost of both will be 
1628£. Before these were begun passengers 
were sometimes obliged to mount their horses 
nearly a quarter of a mile from the shore, and 
ride mid-leg deep in the water. This has 
happened both to Mr Telford and Mitchell. 
The entrance into Cromarty Bay is between 
two high points of land called the Souters 
of Cromarty, and remarkably resembling each 
other. We skirted the bay after breakfast 


for two or three miles, and past a pier at 
Balintraed, which is to form a Httle port 
there, as at Cullen, for a fishing village. A 
flight of gulls were mingled with a herd of 
swine in a newly ploughed field, all busily 
employed, and upon good terms with each 
other. In the street of one village were two 
small sun dials, upon stone pillars. Leaving 
the bay the road turns to the North and cuts 
across to the town of Tain, 11 miles from 
Invergordon. On the way is a new Kirk 
added to an old tower ; the tower is good, but 
the Kirk, being the House that Jack built, 
is in the common style of Jack's architecture, 
like an ugly dwelling house, or manufactory, 
with two rows of windows, like house 
windows, and three doors not differing from 
house doors. Another new Kirk, some way 
beyond this, stands E. and W., which is an 
heretical position in Scotland. And here at 
Tain is a handsome new Kirk, in a sort of 
Gothic, but looking as much like a Castle as 
a Church ; it was still hung with black for 
the Princess Charlotte. The town house is 
old and Flemish, having one short round 
spire, with four shorter ones at the corners. 
Tain is a neater town than Dingwall, and 
contains better houses and more inhabitants. 

TAIN 123 

The Tainites entertain a great contempt for 
Dornoch, the capital of Sutherland, which is 
on the opposite side of the bay. The Land- 
lord said that as for himself he would not set 
his foot in such a place : and indeed Mitchell 
assures us that it is a most miserable place. 
The church yard is made a common thorough- 
fare for men and cattle, without any regard 
to decency, and the fair is held among the 

The black cattle here, and on the western 
coast, come down to feed upon the sea weed 
— doubtless for the sake of the salt. 

There was a weather glass in our room. 
We were not in the best apartment. A 
General Hutton occupied it with his family, 
and had been stationary there for a fortnight, 
coming as to a place of rural retirement from 
Aberdeen. I know not for what real or 
imaginary advantage he should have pitched 
upon the town of Tain. The Landlady is a 
rememberable person, an elderly woman, 
somewhat Flemish in figure. From real 
kindness of nature, and not with any design 
of enhancing her charges, she loads the table 
for her guests with whatever her larder can 
supply. When Mrs Rickman in her kind 
manner addressed her by the title of *'my 


good lady," she replied in a manner which 
makes me remember her, "Nay, I'se nae 
gude Lady, na but a poor woman." 

The paucity of names in Scotland, tho' 
not so remarkable as in Wales, strikes an 
Englishman's eye. Here it is connected with 
clanship, which is not the case with the 
Welsh. From the land of the Grants we 
came into that of the Erasers, then of the 
McKenzies, and now of the Rosses. In the 
Culloden Papers there is a letter from Duncan 
Forbes, addressed "to the Gentlemen of the 
name of Ross," because he had not time to 
address them individually during the pressure 
of the rebellion. 

Some twenty years ago Sir John Sinclair 
said to Mr Telford he should not be surprized 
if in the course of twenty years he were to 
see a mail coach to Thursoe. This which was 
then regarded as one of his impossible dreams, 
they have both lived to see. It is a Dihgence, 
drawn by two horses and carrying three 
insides ; and it answers well. 

We dined at Tain. Between that place 
and Dingwall there is little or no waste 
ground. From Tain the road skirts the 
water, and enters upon a ruder country with 
the mountains in view, and Tarbet Ness at 

TAIN 125 

the opposite extremity of the bay. I learn 
that there are two cairns near this point ; 
Ulli-vacum is raised on a base of 72 feet in 
circumference — it is in a pyramidal form six 
feet broad at the bottom, and elevated only 
a few feet : Spadie-Hngum, about 200 paces 
distant, is such another rude heap upon a base 
of only half the size. Dunrobin is visible, a 
white spot in the distance ; and in many parts 
the views are fine, landward as well as 

About ten miles from Tain, and on the left 
of the road is one of those remarkable edifices 
which are called Pictish Houses ; it is in 
ruins, but of the few which remain, this has 
suffered least from time or violence. Mr 
Telford has published a description of it in 
the Edinburgh Cyclopcedia ; and I annex that 
which Mr Rickman made upon the spot. 

" The Picts House, near Bonar Bridge, 
(known by the name of Dunaliskaig) appears 
to have consisted of two stories, each six 
feet in height, the lower one entered by the 
outer door way, which is three feet wide, five 
feet high, the lintel formed by a triangular 
stone, of which the base is four feet, the 
height four feet and a half. Within the 
entrance of the door way are upright side 


stones, in which are apertures for a cross bar. 
On each side [are] staircases formed in the solid 
wall, and ascending to the upper story, from 
which story are three passages or entrances to 
the staircases, which traverse the whole wall, 
ascending and descending in an unintelligible 
manner, in some places three feet, in some 
not more than twenty inches wide. 

"The building incloses a circle (not very 
well defined) thirty feet across. The wall 
is thirteen feet thick at the door entrance, 
in other places diminishing to ten, and even 
less than nine feet : and the building being 
entirely of dry stone work, is proof of great 
care and skill in its remaining firm, consider- 
ing that the wall is mostly double, as being 
penetrated by galleries or staircases through- 
out. A regular benching, or stone shelf, 
marks the division of the upper and lower 

Wild raspberries were growing in the area 
of this building, and a species of narrow- 
leaved fern. 

From Tain to Bonar Bridge 14. We 
were obliged to divide our party for the 
night, the house there not having accom- 
modation for all ; T. M. and myself there- 
fore stopt at Kincardine, a mile short of 


the bridge. The former name of this place 
was Ardgay. When the bridge was built, 
an Inn was set up there, in the regular order 
of things ; and then as naturally the owner 
of the little public house at Ardgay rebuilt 
his premises to preserve his custom, and vie 
with this unwelcome competitor. A stone 
famous in these parts by the name of the 
White Stone of Kincardine was brought 
from its former site near a Kirk about three 
quarters of a mile off, and built into the 
foundations of the new building, and with 
it the name of Kincardine was transplanted 
also. It forms the corner stone at the N.W. 
corner of the house, unhewn, and projecting 
considerably beyond the rest of the building. 
A beautiful stone it is — the finest mass of 
quartz I ever saw, resembling alabaster, and 
smoothed by time. T. computed its weight 
to be a ton and half. 

Tombstones are erected for persons of 
humbler condition in this country than in 
England ; one cause for which seems to be 
that the name of the person by whom the 
monument is erected, is usually inscribed. 
The family burial places in their Kirk yards 
are striking objects. In these parts they 
are generally walled inclosures, about sixteen 


feet square, and frequently surmounted with 
a balustrade. These quiet mansions of the 
dead are in good feeling and in good taste : 
but they belong to a state of society which 
is rapidly passing away, and there is every- 
where an appearance of decay and neglect 
about them, indicative of the change. Families 
are scattered ; men die at a distance from 
their birthplace, and estates pass from one 
to another. There is something affecting in 
the Scottish custom of calling a woman by 
the name of her husband while she lives, 
but designating her upon her tombstone by 
her family name, as if death restored her 
to her own kin. 

Monday, September 6. — Walked to Bonar 
Bridge to join our friends at breakfast. 
Dornoch Firth, into which the river from 
Loch Shin discharges itself, runs some 36 miles 
up the country, and this bridge is 24 from 
the mouth of the Firth. Upon trying the 
bottom it was twice pronounced that there 
was rock ; and upon this presumption iron 
was cast for a bridge of the same proportions 
as that at Craig Elachie, two such arches 
being intended. The same moulds were used 
But upon farther trial it proved that the rock 


was only on the left bank ; and it became 
necessary to sink 16 feet for a bottom, and 
besides one iron arch to erect two stone ones, 
the one of 60, the other of 50 feet, upon 
caissons — so that the beauty of the structure 
is destroyed. Yet it is a work of such para- 
mount utiUty that it is not possible to look 
at it without delight. The cost was little 
short of 14,000£ ; and painting the iron work 
this year, 130£. 

A remarkable anecdote concerning it was 
told me. An inhabitant of Sutherland, whose 
father was one of the persons drowned at the 
Meikle Ferry, over this Firth, in 1809, could 
never bear to set foot in a ferry boat after 
that catastrophe, and was thus cut off from 
communication with the south till this bridge 
was built. He then set out on a journey. 
" As I went along the road by the side of 
the water," said he, " I could see no bridge : 
at last I came in sight of something like a 
spider's web in the air — if this be it, thought 
I, it will never do ! But presently I came 
upon it, and oh, it is the finest thing that 
ever was made by God or man ! " 

Mitchell had a most providential escape 
from that tragedy at the Meikle Ferry. He 
was pushing his horse to be in time, and was 



only about three minutes too late. When he 
came upon the rising ground nearest the 
shore, the boat had sunk, and of 109 persons, 
some half dozen only were swimming for 
the land! 

The County of Sutherland begins on the 
left side of this water ; and here the County 
erected a toll house. The tolls did not 
suffice to pay the man who kept it, and he 
sued the County for wages : a refractory 
person denied their right of imposing a toll, 
and offered to contest it ; owing to these 
untoward occurrences the toll house is now 
without a keeper, and passengers pass free. 
I heard two other anecdotes concerning 
Highland turnpikes. The County of Inver- 
ness, at an expence of 400£ obtained an act 
for levying a toll at Lovat Bridge ; they have 
never yet thought it worth while to erect a 
toll-house. At Helmsdale there is such a 
house, and it has been let ; but the man who 
rents it never demands toll : the house and 
the privilege of selling whiskey are considered 
by him as well worth the rent he pays, and 
he gives up the toll as not worth the trouble 
of collecting it. 

Mr Dempster, upon whose estate the north 
abutment of Bonar Bridge stands, has had 


the following inscription engraved in a marble 
tablet, to the honour of the Commissioners : — 

" Traveller, Stop and read with gratitude the 
names of the Parliamentary Commissioners 
appointed in the year 1803 to direct the 
making of above 500 miles of roads thro' 
the Highlands of Scotland ; and of numerous 
bridges, particularly those at Beauly, Scuddel, 
Bonar, Fleet, and Helmsdale connecting those 
roads ; viz. : — Rt. Hon. Charles Abbot, Rt. 
Hon. Nicolas Vansittart, Rt. Hon. Wm. 
Dundas, Sir Wm. Pultenay, Bart., Isaac 
Hawkins Brown, Esqre, Charles Grant, 
Esqre, William Smith, Esqre, to whom were 
afterwards added Archibald Colquhoun, Esqre, 
Lord Advocate, Charles Dundas, Esqre, Rt. 
Hon. Nathaniel Bond. This building was 
begun Sept. 1811 And finished Nov. 1812. 
Thomas Telford, Architect, Simpson and 
Cargil, Builders. This stone was placed here 
by George Dempster of Dunnichen In the 
year 1815." The inscription is full of errors 
both as to the Commissioners and the extent 
of the roads ; and to crown all it is fixed 
against the Toll House instead of the Bridge. 

After breakfast we set out for Fleet Mound, 
16 miles, which was to be the extent of our 
journey in this direction. The road skirts 


the water, as it did yesterday on the opposite 
shore, and the scenery is of a kind easily 
described and remembered — a winding firth 
with high hills, or low mountains, on both 
sides and in the interior, the hills as usual 
dark with heather. Upon one of the sand 
banks were some half dozen seals — the first 
I had ever seen — one of them took the water, 
and there were about as many more swimming 
about. The road was enlivened by the inhabit- 
ants of the surrounding country who were on 
their way in their best attire to a preaching at 
Dornoch, yesterday having been a Sacrament- 

We past across Spinning Dale, so named 
with double reference to the site and to 
himself, by David Dale of New Lanark, the 
well-known father-in-law of the better known 
Robert Owen. He thought that a manu- 
factory of the wool of the country might be 
established with advantage here, where there 
was command of water, a navigable firth close 
at hand, and labour cheap. But after sinking 
about 20,000£, he found that the Yorkshire 
clothiers could afford to undersell him. The 
scheme failed, but the money tho' lost to the 
speculator, has not been wholly expended in 
vain ; the cottages which were built while the 


work was carried on are far better than the 
native huts ; and the lands which were then 
brought into cultivation have not been left to 
run waste again. The manufactory itself is in 
ruins, and forms a picturesque object which is 
seen to most advantage from the Bonar side. 

Upon a green hill, commanding the Firth, 
and not far distant, is one of the Vitrified 
Forts. It was too far from the road for us 
to visit it, as there is one near Inverness which 
we shall have time to examine. Eleven miles 
from Bonar Bridge we halted at Clashmore 
Inn, at the sign of the Great Cat — a Cat o' 
mountain rampant — which is the Marchioness 
of Stafford's crest, as Countess of Sutherland 
— a neat house, built by that family last 
year. Five miles to Fleet Mound. A line of 
low dark hills between us and the shore, 
which is now" at some distance : the tower of 
Dornoch Kirk on the right ; bare black 
mountains of no great elevation before us, 
and on the left ; and as the view opened, the 
Little Ferry below us, a winding bay set in 
sand, with a remarkably narrow opening ; 
Dunrobin Castle, the seat of the Sutherland 
family, in the distance on the side of Dornoch 
Firth, with its dark woods behind ; and far 
off the Ord of Caithness, and the mountains 


in that county. The first drove of cattle 
which we have met past us here ; they were 
of many different breeds, large and small, 
some with horns and some without ; the black 
seemed to predominate ; in all about 200 

Fleet water flows here into a small estuary. 
The passage tho' narrow was very inconvenient, 
because of the current ; and it has happened 
to Mitchell sometimes to be kept three hours 
waiting there. A mound 990 yards in length 
has now been constructed across it ; this great 
work was compleated in January last. At 
the north end are four flood gates, under as 
many twelve-feet arches ; the tide shuts them 
as it rises, and when the tide falls they are 
lifted by the river stream. The stream not 
being large is allowed to collect while the 
gates are closed ; and this tide reservoir is 
protected by a strong palisade from the ice, 
which in winter would otherwise endanger 
the arches and destroy the flood gates. In 
case of any impediment to this simple process 
of the leaves rising and falling according to 
the tide, there are windlasses ready for lifting 
them. Lord Gower allows a man a guinea 
per week and a cottage to live in, to take care 
of the mound, and lift these doors every tide. 


as soon as the tide falls, and before the weight 
of water on the river side suffices to lift them. 
This is done not because any danger could 
possibly accrue to the mound, but for the 
sake of draining the land as soon as possible. 
The Mound slopes on either side, the road is 
the summit, and there is a parapet on both 
hands. It is 140 feet wide at the base, 20 at 
the top, besides the parapets, 6 feet above the 
high water mark, and 16 from the bottom, 
which is bare at low water, the tide ebbing 
for half a mile from thence. Sea birds in 
great numbers were walking about the dry 
sand, and busy at the water edge. 

You perceive at once the simplicity, the 
beauty, and the utility of this great work ; 
but you are not at first fully sensible of its 
grandeur, the straightness of the line appear- 
ing to diminish the length. About 400 acres 
which were formerly under water, are thus 
left dry, and grass is already beginning to 
grow upon what in a few years will become 
a fertile carse. Moreover, lands of some 
extent, which were liable to be flooded, are 
now secured from that evil. The cost was 
about 8000£. Lord Gower gave one, the 
rest was drawn in equal shares as usual from 
the County and the Public Grant. Lord 


Gower gains the land which is recovered from 
the sea ; and also derives more advantage 
from the road, and the dry passage to 
Dunrobin than any other person. 

There is at this time a considerable ferment 
in the country concerning the management of 
the M. of Stafford's estates : they comprize 
nearly 2/5ths of the county of Sutherland, 
and the process of converting them into 
extensive sheep-farms is being carried on. 
A political economist has no hesitation con- 
cerning the fitness of the end in view, and 
little scruple as to the means. Leave these 
bleak regions, he says, for cattle to breed 
in, and let men remove to situations where 
they can exert themselves and thrive. The 
traveller who looks only at the outside of 
things, might easily assent to this reasoning. 
I have never — not even in Galicia — seen any 
human habitations so bad as the Highland 
black-houses ; by that name the people of the 
country call them, in distinction from such as 
are built with stone and lime. The worst 
of these black houses are the bothies — made 
of very large turfs, from 4 to 6 feet long, 
fastened with wooden pins to a rude wooden 
frame. The Irish cabin, I suppose, must be 
such a heap of peat with or without stones. 


according to the facility of collecting them, or 
the humour of the maker. But these men- 
sties are not inhabited, as in Ireland, by a 
race of ignorant and ferocious barbarians, who 
can never be civilized till they are regenerated 
— till their very nature is changed. Here 
you have a quiet, thoughtful, contented, 
religious people, susceptible of improvement, 
and willing to be improved. To transplant 
these people from their native mountain glens 
to the sea coast, and require them to become 
some cultivators, others fishermen, occupations 
to which they have never been accustomed — 
to expect a sudden and total change of habits 
in the existing generation, instead of gradually 
producing it in their children ; to expel them 
by process of law from their black-houses, 
and if they demur in obeying the ejectment, 
to oust them by setting fire to these com- 
bustible tenements — this surely is as little 
defensible on the score of policy as of morals. 
And however legal this course of proceeding 
may be according to the notions of modern 
legality, certain it is that no such power can be 
legitimately deduced from the feudal system, 
for that system made it as much the duty of 
the Lord to protect his vassals, as of the 
vassals to serve their Lord. 


Turgot used to wish that he could possess 
absolute power for one year. I would not 
be entrusted with it for all the world could 
give me, seeing in every instance the fatal 
effects which it produces in those who exercise 
it. Even when pursuing good and generous 
intentions, they act tyrannically, they become 
proud and impatient of contradiction, reckless 
of the feelings and sufferings of others — and the 
course of conduct which began in benevolence, 
ends oftentimes in injustice and cruelty. 

Except in forcing on this violent change, 
great good arises where a large estate in 
Scotland is transferred by marriage to an 
English owner, English capital and ingenuity 
being employed to improve it ; whereas a 
native Laird would too probably, like an 
Irish gentleman, have racked his tenants to 
support a profuse and wasteful expenditure. 
Thus in the instance of the Marchioness of 
Stafford's possessions. They are of enormous 
extent, tho' they produce not more than 
between 5 and 6000£ a year ; and not only 
is the whole of the receipts expended in 
improving them, but about an equal sum 
from the Marquis's English property is 
annually appropriated to the same purpose, 
the Marchioness, much to her honour, having 


this object at heart. Large tracts are planted, 
and much land brought into good cultivation. 
Trees will grow anywhere in this country — 
better within a stone's throw of the German 
ocean, than they will at ten miles distance 
from the shore in the country about Liver- 
pool : why this should be I am unable to 
conjecture, but so it is. Here in Sutherland 
and Ross-shire, even in places where the oak 
seems stunted in its growth, it answers to 
plant it, for bark and charcoal, and cut it 
once in fifteen years, when it will produce 
15£ per acre, that is twenty shillings per 
year. I observe birch trees with very small 
leaves, smaller than those of the broad-leaved 
myrtle ; whether these be stunted, or of a 
different species from the common birch I 
do not know, probably the latter. 

We turned back from Telford Mound — so 
I will call it, in honour of our excellent 
companion who has left so many durable 
monuments of his skill in this country. It 
was a good termination of our expedition ; 
and a remarkable spot, being the narrowest 
part of the whole island, the distance across 
from tide to tide not exceeding [20 (?)] miles. 

It is a proof of increasing decency and 
civilization that the Highland philibeg, or 


male-petticoat, is falling into disuse. Upon 
a soldier or a gentleman it looks well ; but 
with the common people, and especially with 
boys, it is a filthy, beggarly, indecent garb. 
The fashion is not yet a century old, and 
is known to have been introduced by an 
Englishman, Thomas Rawlinson by name, 
who was agent, or managing partner for the 
adventurers in Aaron Hill's timber speculation 
and purchased the Glengarry Woods in 1728. 
He introduced it, because the men whom he 
employed wore nothing but the plaid, and 
when they were at work, were, as to all 
purposes of decency, naked. The more 
civilized chieftains before that time wore 
trouse. Those who came from the remote 
highlands to the rebellion of 1715 were all 
drest in a long loose garment, home-made, 
and of one colour, buttoned above and laced 
below down to the knees, which as the cobler's 
stall served him for parlour and kitchen and 
hall, served them for coat, waistcoat, breeches 
and shirt. 

We halted at Clashmore on the way back, 
for an hour and half while the horses rested 
and the children dined. The good Hostess pro- 
duced a bowl of milk, warmed and coagulated 
with rennet ; and prest upon us some whiskey, 


slightly coloured, and more slightly flavoured 
with lemon peel and cinnamon. Here, and 
at breakfast this morning, was a tasteful and 
handsome set of Worcester china. Upon 
noticing it to Mr Telford, he told me that 
before these roads were made, he fell in with 
some people from Worcester, near the Ord 
of Caithness, on their way northward, with 
a cartload of crockery, which they got over 
the mountains how they could ; when they 
had sold all their ware, they laid out the 
purchase money in black cattle, which they 
drove to the south. 

Dined all together at Kincardine, where we 
had an excellent pudding, which appears to 
be the legitimate cheese cake, the basis being 
evidently fresh curd. I supposed it to be 
merely soft curd and currants baked. Bread 
is brought here from Inverness by the mail- 
coach every day, for there is no yeast here. 
And the yeast in Inverness is obtained from the 
smugglers who make whiskey in the Black Isle ; 
that yeast is thought better than any other. A 
party on horseback (of the better order) arrived 
from " Lord Ilea's ^ country " — a feudal form 
of speech which is more generally applied to 
the estates of this Laird, than of any other. 
1 Reay. 


A considerable quantity of wool, in packs, 
is lying at Bonar Bridge, ready for shipping. 
These roads have given life to the country, 
and it is to be regretted that the Parliamentary 
aid has not been continued farther. The first 
difficulties, inevitable in all such operations, 
have been overcome. Workmen and overseers 
have been formed who understand their 
business perfectly, and the people of the 
country, seeing and experiencing the advan- 
tages of what has been done are desirous of 
doing more, and would willingly raise their 
half of the expence. But the cry for retrench- 
ment prevails. 

Tuesday, September 7. — Returned to Ding- 
wall by the Fearn road, over the fells. It 
leaves the coast road about three miles south 
of Bonar, and joins it at Novar Deer Park, 
Sir Hector Monroe's village. This is the 
Commissioners' road, and cuts off twelve 
miles in distance ; but the Mail Coach takes 
the line of the coast, the shorter way being 
over an uninhabited track. The traveller 
loses something by this, for the Fearn Road 
has been pronounced one of the most perfect 
lines in the Highlands. It is carried 700 feet 
above the level of Dornoch Firth ; nor is 


there anywhere a finer specimen of road- 
making to be seen, than where it crosses one 
dingle on one side, and one on the other ; the 
bridges, the walled banks, the steep declivities, 
and the beautiful turfing on the slope, which 
is frequently at an angle of 45, and sometimes 
even more acute, form a noble display of skill 
and power exerted in the best manner for the 
most beneficial purpose. The views over the 
bay are fine. From this high ground the lake 
above Bonar Bridge is seen, formed by Shin- 
water and Rappoch-water. The sand and 
gravel brought to the mouth of this lake by 
a third stream, the River Carron, have formed 
the strait where the Bridge is built. We 
looked down upon the old Highland road, in 
a part where a little old bridge of one arch 
over a rivulet, made a subject which an artist 
would not willingly have left without bringing 
away a sketch of the scene. On the summit 
is a point which Mr Telford and Mitchell call 
Davison's Crag, because when that humourist 
was met here one day, descending and leading 
his horse (it was before the road was made, 
and he was a timorous rider) his knees 
trembling as much from fear as fatigue, he 
curst the place and the Crag too, which, he 
said, had been making faces at him all the 


way. In coming down we commanded the 
Bay of Cromarty, and recognised the Souters 
with satisfaction as old acquaintance. 

Halted at the Novar Eagle, which I suppose 
may be the Monro's crest. Not far from this 
place a directing post marks "the foot path 
to Mount Gerald Square." I could not guess 
how a Square should have been placed in such 
a situation ; but it seems that the offices of 
a great house in Scotland are generally built 
in this form and called accordingly. Near 
Novar is a nursery garden. I saw a woman 
digging in the fields and pressing down the 
spade with her bare foot. 

The Manse is frequently the only good 
house in a village ; generally the best — indeed 
always, unless there is a great house. The 
reason is that the heritors are obliged to keep 
it in repair ; and the Clergy acting as a body 
maintain their rights, and can better afford 
to assert, than the heritors can to invade 
them. I had been told, and had unthinkingly 
believed that one reason why the Scotch 
clergy possessed more influence over the 
people than the English was that they were 
more upon a level with their parishioners, not 
being lifted into the higher stage of society, 
but having just means sufficient for making 


a respectable appearance. But from what I 
see and hear, it appears that the Scotch 
Clergy, generally speaking, are in their worldly 
circumstances and appearance, comparatively 
much above the general level of the English, 
and command more respect for that reason. 

Wednesday, September 8. — Left the Ladies 
and the children at Dingwall ; they were to 
return in the Coach to Inverness and there 
wait for us. We with a chaise and Mitchell's 
gig set off at six, to cross the Island by the 
Loch Carron Road, from sea to sea. The 
chaise horses had been sent off yesterday, 
one stage to Garve, and we took a pair of 
the Coach horses so far, which enabled us to 
perform the whole journey in one day. North 
of Inverness, post horses are not to be 

We entered first upon Strath PefFer, where 
poor Davy persuaded the landholders to drain 
between 6 and 700 acres ; he converted for 
them this extent of unprofitable marshy land 
into excellent ground which is now in a state 
of high cultivation, and was satisfied with — 
five and twenty pounds for his services. Had 
he stipulated for a shilling or two a year upon 
every acre which he reclaimed, they would 


probably have been glad to close with him 
upon such terms. They ought to give him 
an annuity of 50£ for his Ufe. About three 
miles from the town is a mineral spring, in 
such repute that a neat house has lately been 
erected over it, and the Landlady at Dingwall 
says her house is frequently filled with persons 
who come to drink the water. 

Sir George Mackenzie has his estates and 
solai' here. His travels in Iceland must have 
taught him to regard Ross-shire as a southern 
country and genial climate ; and in point of 
natural scenery he has reason to be well 
contented, for here are quiet straths, fine 
streams, and hills about the height of Latrigg 
or Swinside (perhaps higher) covered with 
native woods, chiefly or wholly birch. Sir 
George has made considerable plantations, is 
building a porter's lodge, and seems as if he 
were preparing the place for his residence. 
At present he makes Edinburgh his home. 
The road passes thro' a beautiful birch wood ; 
but this wood is in danger — and indeed the 
destruction has already begun ; for since the 
herring fishery has increased, the scarcity of 
oaken staves for barrels led men to try 
whether birch would answer the purpose as 
well, and great quantities have been felled and 


are felling in consequence — to the profit of 
the landholders, but to the sad deterioration 
of many a beautiful scene. 

Early in the morning the road presented an 
unusual and very lively appearance. A great 
many laden carts were going into the country, 
and a great many people, some on foot, some 
on horseback, men and women, many of them 
carrying packs. When we reached Contin, 
a village where a bridge of three arches, 40, 
45, and 50 feet in span, has been built over 
the Black Water, we learnt the cause of this 
unusual movement. It was the first day of a 
fair which is held here thrice a year, continues 
two days, and puts all the country round in 
activity. The fair is supposed to be chiefly 
for horses : but very many booths were 
erecting upon the ground, and wares of all 
kinds were arriving in abundance. We fell 
in with several droves of horses coming from 
the interior, a small, hardy kind : many of 
them go to the south, and are transported 
from the Highland hills into the coal pits of 
Northumberland and Durham. We met also 
one flock of goats, the only flock I ever saw 
in Great Britain. This was not the only 
circumstance which gave a foreign character 
to the scene, and reminded me of Galicia and 


Leon : the women with their white caps 
looked at a little distance more like Spaniards 
or Portugueze than Englishwomen. The 
road lies along the shore of Loch Luichart. 
The Lake is about three miles long and one 
wide ; tho' without any strong and decided 
features, it has a fine, sober, impressive 
character. There is some cultivation at the 
upper end, about the village of Garve, where 
we breakfasted. 

One of the innumerable Mackenzies is 
Laird of Strath Garve, and was at this time 
residing in the little inn which he has built 
there. Very courteously, as the people of the 
inn were apprized of our coming, he walked 
out that we might be accommodated with his 
sitting room. There were a few books there 
— among them Bell's edition of Chaucer (to 
the reproach of English literature there exists 
no better!); Blair's Sermons, in numbers; and 
an old set of maps which appear to have been 
collected and published by Du Val. There 
was some fishing tackle also — and a deer's 
foot for the handle to the bell. A more 
characteristic part of the furniture was a 
paragraph cut from a newspaper and framed, 
containing an account of the death and 
character of John Mackenzie, Esqre, of Fig 

GARVE 149 

Tree Court, Temple, and of Arcan in the 
County of Ross. This was the person whom 
Macpherson entrusted with the charge of 
pubhshing the GaeHc version of his pseudo- 
Ossian : I know not whether he were a dupe, 
or an accomplice — probably the former. On 
the back of this curious record is a notice that 
it was framed by *' Mackenzie, Upholsterer to 
the Admiralty." The Laird has been in the 
army. He is improving his estate ; but 
having removed his people two years ago and 
made them construct new hovels by the road 
side, he has now given them orders to shift 
their habitations again. It will be some 
compensation for the inconvenience to which 
they are subjected by this second thought, if 
the third set of hovels should be as much 
better than the second, as the second are than 
the first : and if the fear of another removal 
does not dishearten the people, this will 
probably be the case, the spirit of improve- 
ment having once begun to work. Before we 
began breakfast the Landlord produced a 
Scotch pint of whiskey, and would fain have 
persuaded us to commence with a glass. We 
had salted herrings, excellent in their kind, 
but no sweetmeats. 

Garve is 13 miles from Dingwall, 10 from 


Auchnault. There are some fine rapids on 
the way, and we observed the stumps of 
several large oaks, apparently the remains 
of a forest. The only man whom we saw 
in a philibeg during this day's journey was 
a poor idiot, who ran after the chaise, not 
to beg, but with an idiotic delight at seeing 
it. The road lies sometimes near, and some- 
times along a chain of small lakes, or broads, 
as some of them might properly be called. 
The workmen were finishing this division of 
the road, under the inspection of Mr Christie, 
the contractor : their tents, which had been 
purchased from the military stores, were 
pitched by the wayside, and they had made 
a hut with boughs for their kitchen — more 
picturesque accompaniments to so wild a 
scene could not have been devised. In a 
country like this, where there is little use 
of wheel carriages, the road is constructed 
wholly of gravel, and all the stones are 
picked out and thrown aside. We went into 
the inn at Auchnault, a miserable place, bad 
as a Gallician posada, or an estallagem in 
Algarve. But we tasted whiskey here, which 
was pronounced to be of the very best and 
purest, " unexcised by Kings " ; and we drank 
a little milk, on the excellence of which these 


Highlanders pride themselves. The house, 
wretched as it was, was not without some 
symptoms of improvement ; there was the 
crank of a bell in the dirty, smoked, un- 
plaistered wall, showing that it was intended 
to fit up the room. 

The road continues to ascend gradually 
and almost imperceptibly, ten miles farther, 
up Bran Water ; Water which in my Land 
of Lakes is synonimous with Mere, means 
in Scotland a river of inferior size. Loch 
Gowan on the left, and mountains before 
us, on both sides, of greater elevation than 
any which we had hitherto approached. Stopt 
at Luip, a house one degree better than the 
hovel at Auchnault. One end of the room 
contained three beds like ship cabins, each 
shut in with folding doors. Such beds were 
common — indeed almost general in Scotland 
fifty years ago. They may be clean ; but 
they must be close, and are evidently un- 
favourable to cleanliness, a virtue in which 
the Scotch are notoriously wanting. Yet 
I must give the poor people at Luip credit 
for this virtue, which is connected with so 
many others. There was an air of cleanliness 
about the house, as far as could consist with 
a tinge of smoke upon the rafters and walls. 


The wooden chairs and the tables were cleaner 
than they would usually be found in an 
English cottage ; and there was one better 
bed, upon an open bedstead (in which Mitchell 
has often slept) with a quilt of patchwork, 
ornamentally disposed, in stars, upon a white 
ground. There were also two plated candle- 
sticks, a hand bell, a wire bell, and a good 
likeness of the Landlord, well drawn in water 
colours. We dined here on good mutton 
chops, excellent potatoes, and fresh soft curds 
and cream. The woman apologized for the 
want of wheaten bread, which none of the 
party wanted, everything being so good. 
The charge was a shilling per head. And 
we tasted again right Highland whiskey. 

We past Loch Scaven on the left, after 
which we soon reached the highest part of 
the road, and began to descend, the counter- 
streams flowing to the western sea. As we 
advanced toward the West, the blackness of 
the hills gradually gave place to a brighter 
colour : there was less heather and more 
pasturage. The stream made its way down 
a deep and narrowish glen, with firs and 
birch on the mountain side. 9 miles to 
Craigie House, a neat little inn lately built 
by Mackenzie of Applecross, the Laird of 


the land. The windows are in small lozenge 
panes, in a frame work of cast iron ; these 
small panes are convenient, where glass is 
brought from a distance, as less liable to be 
broken, and more readily replaced. Loch 
Dougall, a fine lake on the left ; a steep 
green mountain on the south side, so steep 
that such a mountain in my country would 
have been covered with screes ; here it is 
green, tho' scored and ribbed with numerous 
deep ravines. The glen then widens into a 
great expanse, which seems to have been 
formerly under water, and with little care 
might become a most valuable carse. But 
Applecross's grandfather leased it at a low 
rent for three terms of 19 years each, and 
about 18 years are unexpired. This extends 
to Loch Carron. The evening set in with rain 
— which was to be expected in this rainy 
region. We saw seals swimming in the salt 
water, and finally on the shore of this long 
inlet of the sea, we took up our night's abode 
at Jean-town. Our sitting room is larger 
than seems either needful or comfortable in 
such a situation, and there is no air of neat- 
ness about it. We had, however, a good 
meal at tea, excellent butter, barley cake 
and biscuit (no wheaten bread) and herrings, 


much smaller than those at Cullen, but 
delicious enough to vie with them. They 
are mostly without roes, whence I suppose 
them to be young fish. 

Thursday, September 9. — Jean-Town, the 
capital of Applecross's country, and the 
largest place in the west of Ross-shire, is 
a straggling but populous village, chiefly or 
wholly inhabited by fishermen. A few of 
the huts on the shore are contiguous, the 
much greater number stand separately upon 
the hill side. Great part of the year the 
men, from the nature of their calling, have 
nothing to do ; yet they buy their nets at 
Inverness, instead of employing some of their 
leisure hours in making them. 

After breakfast we set off for Strome 
Ferry, with the intention of crossing there, 
if Applecross's new boat should be ready, 
and returning by the Kintail, Glenshiell, 
and Glenmorriston roads to Inverness. There 
was a difliculty before us, which we saw no 
means of overcoming. The proper place to 
sleep at would have been Shiell House, an 
inn built by Government solely for the 
accommodation of travellers in these western 
wilds, being in the line which the people 


of Skye and the Lewises take when they 
travel to Inverness, which is their capital. 
But the Laird into whose hands it has past, 
a certain Mr Dick, quarrelled with the last 
tenant, got rid of him, and shut up the house, 
contrary to an express condition that it was 
to be kept open as an Inn. Owing to this, 
there is now no public house at which a 
traveller can lodge for the night, between 
the Western sea and Glenmorriston ; and 
from Jean-Town thither was for us a distance 
of 70 miles. To get thro' with the same 
horses was impossible ; and there were objec- 
tions which could not be overcome, to looking 
for hospitality from Dick ; he had behaved 
with great insolence to Mitchell, and had 
thus brought himself into a dispute with the 
Commissioners which might much better be 
managed in writing than by personal inter- 
course. There was no such objection to 
quartering ourselves upon Sir Hugh Innes ; 
but his house lay so near the ferry that the 
difficulty of reaching Glenmorriston the next 
day would be very little diminished by start- 
ing from thence. However, we were to 
make the best of a bad business, enter the 
country, and trust to fortune. 

With such prospects, not very exhilarating 


ones for travellers in the western highlands, 
we set off for the ferry, 4 miles ; but not 
without a suspicion that we might find it 
necessary to return, for want of a boat capable 
of carrying the chaise and horses. Piers on 
both sides have been built by the Com- 
missioners ; and Applecross, to whom the 
ferry belongs, had long promised to provide 
a boat. This work, from want of interest 
on his part, and inactivity in those whom 
he employed, had been delayed at first, and 
then slowly carried on, till the expected 
arrival of R. and T. made him eager to have 
it finished. They wrote from Inverness, 
asking him to meet them at Craigie Inn, 
or at Jean-Town. But on Tuesday, Mitchell, 
who was before us in his gig, met him between 
Dingwall and Tain, on the way to a county 
meeting ; and he past the coach, which 
happened to be closed because of the rain, 
without stopping to accost R. and T. tho' 
he knew from Mitchell that they were in 
it. This conduct, which appeared uncivil in 
a man not wont to be discourteous ; and 
who was moreover upon friendly terms with 
both, was explained when we found that the 
boat was not ready. He had been ashamed 
to see them and confess this ; and had given 


orders to get her into the water without delay, 
so that she might be ready for service this 
morning. But when we arrived at the ferry, 
the boat was not there. My companions 
were not sorry that they were thus prevented 
from seeing persons in the opposite country 
whom they could not without impropriety 
have left unseen, but with whom precious 
time would have been consumed to no 
purpose. Moreover, an end was put to all 
perplexity concerning our farther movements, 
as nothing was to be done but to return to 
Inverness by the way we came. 

We ourselves crost to see the farther 
shore. Loch Carron is a beautiful inlet. A 
tongue of land runs out on the north side and 
forms a natural pier, protecting the bay where 
Jean - Town stands. The pier at Strome 
Ferry is sheltered by a smaller neck of land. 
The Loch is inclosed by mountains on three 
sides, and on the fourth the mountains in the 
Isle of Skye are seen at no great distance. 
Ours was the first carriage which had ever 
reached the ferry, and the road on the southern 
shore, up which we walked, had never yet 
been travelled by one. We went up the hill 
so as to command the descent along which 
it inclines toward Loch-Alsh — a district, not 


a Lake — and communicates by Kyle Haken 
Ferry with the Isle of Skye, where an hundred 
miles of road have been made by the Com- 
missioners. To hear of such roads in such a 
country, and to find them in the wild western 
Highlands is so surprizing, everything else 
being in so rude a state, that their utility, 
or at least their necessity, might be doubted, 
if half the expence were not raised by 
voluntary taxation. The Lairds indeed have 
one inducement for entering largely into the 
scheme, which explains what might otherwise 
seem on their part, a lavish expenditure on 
such improvements. Large arrears of rent 
were due to them, which there was no chance 
of their ever recovering in money ; but the 
tenants were willing to work for them, and 
so discharge the debt. When therefore the 
estimated expence of a road was 5000£, they 
received from Government 2500£, and the 
tenants did for them 5000£'s worth of labour ; 
thus they were clear gainers by all which they 
received, and by the improved value of their 

Some years ago a villainous adventurer, by 
name Brown, made his appearance in these 
parts, professing that he had a " capability " 
of improving estates — not in their appearance, 

SKYE 159 

but in their rents. His simple secret consisted 
in looking at the rent-roll, and doubling, 
trebling, or even quadrupling the rent, accord- 
ing to the supposed capability of the tenant, 
without regard to any local circumstances, 
or any principle of common justice. Some 
Lairds allowed this fellow to make the experi- 
ment upon their estates, and it succeeded at 
first, owing to accidental causes. The war 
occasioned a great demand for black cattle ; 
and the importation of barilla being prevented 
by the state of affairs in Spain, kelp rose to 
such a price that it enabled the tenants to pay 
the increased rent without difficulty. This 
brought Brown into fashion, and whole 
districts were brought under the ruinous 
system of rack-rent, in some instances even 
to a sixfold augmentation. The war at length 
was brought to an end ; cattle and kelp fell 
to their former price ; the tenants were unable 
to pay ; and some of these Lairds were at 
once unthinking and unfeeling enough to go 
thro' with their extortionate system, and seize 
their goods by distress. They suffered doubly 
by this : first by the entire ruin which was 
brought upon their poor tenants ; secondly 
by the direct consequence of the process. 
For, according to the forms of their law, they 


took the cattle at a valuation, in part payment 
of arrears ; the valuation was made at the 
then market price, and before the cattle could 
be driven to market, there was a very con- 
siderable fall ; so that, both causes operating, 
these grasping and griping Landlords have 
gone far towards ruining themselves. 

There is good marble in the Isle of Skye. 
The Laird upon whose estate it was discovered 
was persuaded that the quarries might be 
made of great immediate value ; he determined 
therefore to work them upon a great scale, 
and to expend 20,000£ in constructing piers, 
laying rail-roads, and other works. But Mr 
Telford advised him to proceed cautiously, 
select a few specimens, and those good ones, 
send them in carts to the shore to be shipt, 
and not involve himself in any serious expence 
till the marble had obtained reputation in 
London. The Laird followed this judicious 
advice in part, and the ruinous cost in which 
he would have engaged was spared ; but he 
sent off a shipload of seventy tons without 
selection, and of course it was disregarded, 
and perhaps undervalued. 

After a pleasant walk, and a view into the 
wilds leading to Loch Alsh, we recrossed. 
The fishermen here make ropes of birch twigs, 


of heather, and of the small roots of the fir, 
the latter are very well made. The ferry 
house is thatched with fern roots. It is not 
finished, and we observed that instead of 
laths, splintered wood is used in building it. 
The tenant pays Applecross 7£ a year for the 
house, 10£ for the ferry, and 7£ for what the 
woman called an acre of land. Certain that 
there must be some misunderstanding here, 
we enquired farther, and found that this acre 
of land supported two cows and a horse, and 
moreover afforded room for plenty of potatoes. 
The man said it might be two acres, and it 
turned out to be as much land as was quite 
sufficient for their wants, with unlimited right 
of common upon these green hills. But there 
was no intention to deceive us, nor to represent 
themselves as paying an exorbitant rent. The 
misstatement arose from calling any small lot 
of land an acre — as any indefinite distance, 
from one mile to four or five, is called a mile 
in Wales, and such countries. The ferryman 
told us that he made his own leather and his 
own shoes. In his case therefore there is no 
want either of industry or ingenuity. Close 
to the ferry are the ruins of a Castle which 
formerly commanded the Loch. 

The weather had been stormy when we 



crossed, and it rained heavily while we were 
on the way to Craigie House, beyond which 
we could not proceed this day, for want of 
decent accommodation at night. A girl past 
us in a cart carrying an umbrella. The carts 
in Applecross's country are like those in 
England ; on the Eastern coast they are of 
a much ruder and simpler construction, which 
is in some respects preferable ; the sides 
consist merely of a slight upright railing, just 
strong enough to secure what may be placed 
within. Craigie House is smaller than the 
inn at Jean-Town. They have only two beds 
for strangers, but will make up a third on six 
chairs, by robbing one of the others. Mitchell 
went on to Luip. 

Friday, September 10. — The upper story of 
Craigie House is constructed in the roof so 
incommodiously that a large corner is, of 
necessity, cut from the doors ; and a man 
must beware of his head, unless he walks in 
the middle of the room. I could neither get 
in, nor out of my chair-bed, nor sit upright in 
it, without management. The chairs were 
lengthened by placing a chest at the bottom 
of the bed ; but the chest and the chairs were 
not upon the same level, so that my feet had 


a step to go down. However, I slept well ; 
and the shifts which I was fain to use in 
rising and dressing, there being no passage 
between the two beds, were matter of 
merriment. Quilts of ornamental patchwork, 
as at Auchnault. 

A beautiful morning. The mountains and 
the vallies and the streams were drest with 
sunshine. Breakfasted at Auchnault. The 
want of wheaten bread was so well supplied 
by good pink potatoes, dug the moment they 
were wanted, boiled in their skins, and hot 
enough to melt fine fresh butter, that I was 
more than ever satisfied how little the want 
of bread would be felt, and how impolitic it is 
to make so precarious a crop as wheat of such 
main importance as the prime necessary of 
life. We had also a cold sheep's head, which, 
to my surprize, I thought very good, because 
of the skin, and the flavour which had been 
given it by singeing. 

At a little distance from this place, where a 
stream of equal magnitude comes from the 
N.W. to join the Bran, we went about 200 
yards from the road to look into the valley 
whence it came. This gave us sight of Loch 
Rusque, and of some detached and very lofty 
mountains beyond the ridge which bounds it. 


They are on the side of Loch Maree, a large 
fresh water lake, about 25 miles in length. The 
waters from Loch Maree flow into the salt- 
water Loch Ew, and as this is the best point 
for communicating with Lewis, it is desirable 
that a road should be made there, branching 
off from the Jean-Town road at this place. 

In Strath Garve, where great improvements 
are going on, I observed a kind of walling 
which I had never noticed before. The wall, 
without mortar, is built of the usual thickness 
for about two feet, and then for about the 
same height is only one stone thick. I 
pointed it out as a specimen of wretched 
work, which the slightest push, or the first 
storm of wind would destroy. But T. tells 
me this sort of walling is common in the 
south of Scotland, where it has been found 
that the sheep, seeing the light thro' the 
interstices of the stones, never attempt to 
run up it, or to leap it, aware of the danger 
of bringing it down about their heels. Such 
walls are called Galloway Dikes. There is 
one of them, Mitchell tells me, on the side of 
Loch Laggan which has stood 45 years. 

Reached Dingwall once more to a late 
dinner. Cheese there of goats' milk, and of 
ewes' milk — both very good. 


Saturday, September 11. — Called at Bran^ 
Castle, the seat of Stewart Mackenzie, who, 
by marrying Sir Samuel Hood's widow, 
daughter and heiress of the last Lord 
Seaforth, has become the head of the 
Mackenzies, Their genealogy, long as it is, 
must yield to his, who is unquestionably of 
the oldest and best family in the world — that 
of Abraham. R. and T. had road business 
with him. Here is a good portrait of Henry 
Mackenzie, the Man of Feeling — very 
deservedly the pride of his clan. I recognized 
it immediately. And here is an original 
whole-length of Mary Q. of Scots, resembling 
the portrait at Holyrood House, and certainly 
bearing little trace of beauty. Here I found 
a visitor, by name Augustus Hare, who is 
nephew to Mrs Sloper and the Dean of 
St Asaph, cousin to Reginald Heber's wife, 
and well acquainted with Frederick Blackstone 
and John Awdry. Lady Mackenzie talked 
much of Walter Scott and Mr Morritt, as 
persons with whom she was intimate. A 
second breakfast was prepared. T. jested 
with me about the weakness which I confess 
for whiskey, and this ended in Lady M.'s 
producing two bottles of the very best, made 

1 Brahan. 


in Lewis at the birth of her son (now 16 
months old) to be drank when this young 
hope of the Maekenzies shall come of age. 
One was for me, the other for R. For 
myself, I can only say on such occasions 
that the smallest contributions are thankfully 
received and gratefully acknowledged. The 
little boy is a fine child, with the right 
Hebrew eye and cast of countenance. 

Thro' the Black Isle to Kessock Ferry, 
this way to Inverness being about 8 miles 
nearer than that by Lovat Bridge. The 
Black Isle is a peninsula between the Cromarty 
and Beauly or Moray Firths, and is the 
largest part of the scattered shire of Cromarty. 
That anomalous shire was oddly constituted 
by the grant of some Scotish King to his 
favourite, forming all his estates, wherever 
dispersed, into a seperate jurisdiction, or 
county. There was one estate in this Isle 
which enjoyed an exemption from the Excise 
Laws ; the natural consequence was that all 
the whiskey which was made in the whole 
Isle came from the privileged district ; and 
Government not long since thought it advis- 
able to give the owner of the estate a sum 
of money as an equivalent for an exemption 
which could no longer be allowed. We past 


thro' a young wood of firs, of considerable 
extent, self-sown. Crossed the ferry which 
is the best in Scotland. But the best ferry 
is a bad thing. They have no good means 
of getting carriages on board, and there was 
considerable difficulty with one of the horses. 
As soon as we arrived at our Inn, I sent for 
Mr Kennedy. He was surprized to see how 
compleatly his ointment had done its work. 
The proud-flesh is gone, and the tumour has 
nearly, and he says it will soon heal. 

Sunday, September 12. — Walked to the 
mouth of the Canal. It opens into a fine 
road-stead doubly sheltered by the opposite 
coast of the Black Isle ; and by the points 
of Fort George and Channerty Point, which 
cover the entrance of the Bay. The masonry 
at the mouth is about ten feet above high 
water mark : the locks large enough to admit 
a 32 gun frigate, the largest which has ever 
been made. There was a difficulty at the 
mouth from the nature of the bottom, being 
a mud so soft that it was pierced with an 
iron rod to the depth of sixty feet. A founda- 
tion was made by compressing it with an 
enormous weight of earth and stones, which 
were left during twelve months to settle, 


after which a pit was sunk in it, and the 
sea lock therein founded and built. This 
was a conception of Telford's, and had it 
not been for this bold thought the design 
of the canal must have been abandoned. 
The length of the basin is 800 yards, the 
breadth 150. Already the Sea has, as it 
were, adopted the outworks, and clothed the 
embankment and the walls with sea-weed. 

Craig Phadrie, one of the Vitrified Forts, 
is near the mouth of the Canal. The hill 
has been planted with firs, so that the plan 
and extent of the works cannot be traced 
without a laborious examination. Indeed 
the peculiarity which renders these forts so 
remarkable, would hardly have been dis- 
covered by any but a mineralogist, none of 
the walls (here at least) being left above 
ground. They have been laid bare in several 
places, and no doubt can be entertained by 
any reasonable man, but that fire has been 
designedly applied, to consolidate them by 
semi-fusion. Lord Woodhouselie, with that 
want of judgement which characterises his 
breed of authors, supposes them to have 
been built of wood, with earth and stones 
between the two sides ; and destroyed by 
fire, the vitrification being thus the effect 


of the destruction. In the Survey of the 
Province of Moray, which book contains 
this silly theory, is a passage which if it 
rests upon any authority, is decisive : — " An 
old record in Dunrobin Castle," it is said, 
" explains this ancient mode of building, bear- 
ing that a stranger had come from the south 
into Sutherland, who had discovered an 
excellent cement for strong buildings, com- 
posed of iron ore mixed with other stone, 
vitrified by the force of fire." 

The view from Craig Phadrie commands 
the firth from the Souters of Cromarty to 
Fort St George ; Benwevis to the N. behind 
Dingwall, the canal and Inverness below, and 
a country recently cultivated and improved 
in many ways. 

Evan Baillie, the late Member for Bristol, 
has considerable possessions here, having suc- 
ceeded to his elder brother in the family 
estate at Dochfour, and brought to it a large 
fortune acquired in trade, and no narrow 
mind, as far at least as worldly interests are 
concerned. Many of the canal-men, when 
they have acquired a little money, obtain 
waste land from him, to be held for a few 
years rent-free, afterwards for a certain time 
(90 years I believe) at ten shillings per acre. 


They have built cottages there, and being 
perfect masters of the spade, are bringing 
the ground into good order faster than any 
other labourers could have done, working 
at seasons when they are not employed upon 
the Canal, and in hours which they can win 
from their labour there. 

Monday, September 13. — Embarked at the 
top of the Four Locks, and went up the 
Canal, meaning to proceed as far as Bona or 
Bana Ferry on the Ness, immediately after it 
issues from the Lake. The Canal at this end 
appears like a considerable river, even now ; 
and when the whole is compleated, the water 
here will be ten feet wider, on each side. It 
was necessary in three places to make the 
river Ness give way, drive it into a new 
channel, and confine it there by embankments, 
tho' it is a larger stream (if 1 remember 
rightly) than the Severn at Gloucester, and 
comes down with far greater velocity. The 
embankment is well clothed with whins and 
broom : among the weedery I observed a 
plant with a strong tall stem, and a blossom 
resembUng mignonette ; yet I think it cannot 
be the same plant which I saw about Neuf- 
chatel, for I supposed that to be mignonette 


in its wild state, and this is a much stronger 
and stateUer herb. There are also a few self- 
sown firs, the cones having been blown across 
the canal from the hill-side. On the right 
hand (going up) a great many sand martins 
have built in the bank, where they will do 
some mischief by their mining operations. 
We went thro' one lock ; and when we were 
shut in between such tremendous gates on 
two sides, and such walls of perpendicular 
masonry on the other two, the situation 
might have afforded a hint fbr a Giant's 
dungeon. Farther up is the Regulation 
Lock, one such is required at the head and 
another at the end of each lake, according as 
the water may be higher or lower than in the 
Canal. Just above it, vessels pass into the 
natural stream, the body of the river being 
diverted by a weir to the right, that is the 
S.E. In this part the river forms a small 
lake, which perhaps might more properly be 
denominated a Broad ; it is called Loch 
Dochfour. As it blew hard from the West, 
we landed on the North shore and proceeded 
on foot, near the water. Old Evan Baillie's 
abode, which bears the same name as the 
Loch, is on the rising ground where we 
landed — an unpretending house, which seemed 


to imply, like all the lands around it, the 
good sense of the owner, and to promise 
much comfort within. 

At the upper end of Loch Dochfour, on a 
neck of land which was formerly an island,^ 
but has been joined by an embankment to the 
north shore for the sake of the navigation, 
are the ruins of a fort, oddly called Castle 
Spiritual, because Ghosts are believed to 
frequent it. There is a burial ground near, 
without a Kirk ; and from thence they may be 
supposed to come. Bana ferry, the only place 
where the Ness used to be fordable, is a little 
above this ruin ; and within a stone's throw 
of the ferry the river issues from Loch Ness. 

That great Lake, 22 miles in length, and 
from one to two in breadth, has thrown up 
here, at its termination, a high beach of 
pebbles, ridge above ridge, upon which the 
waves, impelled along its whole length by a 
strong breeze, were breaking with a sound 
like the voice of the ocean. You see along 

^ In the Survey of the Province of Moray this ground 
is called a peninsula, and so it appears to have been 
before the river cut for itself a short way across its neck. 
This book says that there has been a military station 
there, of two small forts ; and supposes the spot to be the 
Banatia of Ptolomy, because the name is Bana, Bona, or 
Buness at present. 


the whole expanse ; the mountainous sides, 
on either hand, confine the view (the finest 
heights are on the northern shore) and it is 
terminated by the mountains beyond Fort 
Augustus. Mhalfouroonnie, "the cold wart, 
or excrescence, of a hill," which we saw when 
we had the first view of this great opening 
from sea to sea, is conspicuous with its high 
round hump. The mountain rises "in one 
uniform face from the lake to the height of 
3060 feet," and this round protuberance 
shoots up "about a fifth part higher than 
the general elevation." Below this young 
Pelion is a tarn about four acres in extent, 
called "the Lake of the red-bellied trout." 
I have never seen so large a Lake as Loch 
Ness, which could be seen as a whole in one 
unbroken line. As a whole it is more 
impressive than that of Neufchatel. I cannot 
yet tell whether any of its parts equal the 
Jura shore — probably not. The seat of 
those sons of the feeble, the Tytlers of 
Woodhouselie, is on the south bank, near 
this end of the lake. Marie is dug there, 
from under a bed of peat six or eight feet 
deep, and great quantities are sent from 
thence to be used in agriculture. It is 
cheaper than lime. The pieces which I 


examined were full of very small shells, 
some resembling whelks, others like the 
fresh water muscle, but all very small. 

Loch Ness has been carefully sounded, and 
found to be 129 fathoms deep — which is 
600 feet deeper than the Moray Frith between 
its eastern point at Kinnairds Head, and 
Caithness. How can this prodigious hollow 
have been formed ? It never freezes. The 
Survey of Moray says that " during the most 
intense frosts both the river and lake smoke, 
a thick fog hangs over them, mitigating the 
cold to some distance upon either side ; and 
linens stiffened by frost are dipt in the river 
to be thawed." The water is said to be 
unwholesome, acting as a purgative upon 
man and beast. It cannot derive this quality 
from the peat mosses thro' which the feeders 
of the lake pass, and from which they may 
proceed ; for peat would rather impart an 
opposite effect. 

The carriage was awaiting us at Bana 
Ferry, and we returned to Inverness along 
the military road. That city appears to great 
advantage when approached on this side ; the 
noble river Ness and its islands, on the left 
and in the foreground ; the spires of the town, 
and the rising ground above it on the left, the 


old bridge, which is a handsome pile of seven 
arches ; and the Black Isle and Benwevis in 
the distance. 

Tuesday, September 14. — This day was past 
at Inverness in writing letters, bringing up 
my journal ; reading the Survey of Moray, 
and making extracts from it. 

Wednesday, September 15. — Left Inverness 
after breakfast. R. went with Mitchell by the 
Glen-Morriston road, on the north side of the 
Lake, we by the military one on the south. 
There are some whimsical gardens on the hill- 
side, near the town — one with an oval walk, 
and a St Andrew's Cross for the beds within, 
another in some indescribable kind of poly- 
gon. The slope of the hill brings them in full 
sight. Odd as the fashion of these gardens 
is, they are pleasing objects, as evincing in 
the owners some love for beauty, according 
to their own notions of it, and leisure and 
means for gratifying a harmless humour. 
One should be sorry indeed to trust them with 
Pocklington's fortune, or Count Borromeo's 
— except in situations where no freaks could 
injure the character of the scene. 

18 miles to Boleskin, better known by the 


name of the General's Hut. The burial 
ground of the Lovats (so the chief family of 
the Frasers is still called) is not far from 
hence. There is not a more striking feature 
in Scotland than this custom of family burial 
grounds for the Lairds, and family burial 
places in the common cemeteries. And tho' 
it might be censured by minds of a certain 
temper, as neither consistent with Christian 
humility, nor with what is called philosophy, 
it were easy to shew that it has a good 
beginning, and a good tendency, arising in 
domestic feeling, and certainly leading to 
a feeling of nationality, as the love of our 
country grows out of the love of our home. 
There is more of our Lake-land character 
upon this road than in any other part of 
Scotland thro' which my way has lain — rocks, 
fern, and heather upon the side of the green 
hills, the lake below, and on the opposite 
mountain, where the rain has laid it bare in 
streaks, there is the same red colouring as 
at Buttermere and Wasdale. The General's 
Hut, in which Wade is said to have lived, 
that is, where he had his headquarters while 
his troops were making the road from Fort 
George to Fort Augustus, is built of mud 
and straw, within squares of wooden framing. 


If curious, or idle, or mischievous travellers 
had not all alike picked and scraped this into 
holes, the colour and gloss which have been 
given by peat smoke would have made the 
inside walls handsome as well as peculiar. In 
smokey kitchins the peat makes the roof and 
rafters black as ebony and glossy as the finest 
varnish, and this without any appearance of 
soot. The smoke is clean, and the smell, to 
me at least, rather agreeable than otherwise : 
but it attacks the eyes immediately, and that 
it injures them is plainly shewn by the blear 
eyes which are here so common among old 
people. A book was formerly kept at this 
Inn, in which all travellers, from the General's 
time, had inscribed their names, and many 
of them, as in the Albums abroad, wrote 
down some expression of their feelings, their 
opinions, or their temper. But this book was 
stolen by some scoundrel a few years ago. We 
made a good meal here upon potatoes, fresh 
butter, and milk. Meat and whiskey might 
have been had, but we preferred cooler diet. 

It rained during our halt, and continued to 
rain heavily when the carriage stopt above 
the Fall of Foyers. The ladies stept from the 
coach upon the wall, to look down the glen, 
and I went with Mr Telford some way down. 



It is not creditable to the owner of this 
property, that there should be no means of 
getting at the bottom of the Fall, and no safe 
means of obtaining a full view from any point, 
except from the high road, where it is so fore- 
shortened as to be seen to great disadvantage. 
The water was much less than it usually is 
in this wet country, and far too little for the 
chasm, still it exceeded our waterfalls when 
they are in full force, and when the river is 
full it might perhaps bear comparison with 
any single fall of the Reichenbach. The 
accompaniments cannot be finer anywhere ; 
everything is beautiful, and everything — 
woods, rocks, water, the glen, the mountains, 
and the lake below, in proportion. There is 
a higher fall, which is also a fine thing, the 
river plunging into a deep bason ; you see it 
from a bridge. 

General Wade's road has opened the way 
to the only view of the Fall of Foyers, 
and perhaps the General did this designedly. 
But in proceeding to Fort Augustus, and 
indeed in most, or all, of his roads, he seems 
to have, like other road makers, followed the 
old horse track, instead of surveying the 
country like an engineer. Very often he 
crosses the hill with great difficulty and 


labour, when both might have been avoided 
by keeping the valley. It reminded me of 
the old nursery song : — 

" Here we go up, up, up, 

And here we go down, down, down-ee; 
Here we go backwards and forwards. 

And here we go round, round, round-ee." 

This is neither agreable to horses, nor 
drivers, nor nervous travellers ; but one who 
wishes to see the country gains something 
by it, and obtains wide prospects, and views 
into the recesses of the mountains, which 
are lost to him who keeps upon the level. 
Between the General's Hut and Fort Augustus 
the road is carried full 1500 feet above the 
sea, that is, half the height of Skiddaw ! 
There is a good deal of birch- wood upon 
the way, and several small lakes, some of 
which are like our lonely tarns, others have 
cultivated borders, like Watenlath : there 
are charr in some of these. When we came 
in sight of our journey's end the view was 
very impressive ; it commanded the head of 
Loch Ness, the river Oich which enters it, 
the bridge, the Fort standing alone, and the 
two villages, or suburbs, if so they may be 
called which have grown up in consequence 


of the establishment of the Fort, one to the 
West, the other beyond the river. 

About half way along Loch Ness we had 
seen on the opposite shore the ruins of 
Urquhart Castle, the solar of the Cummings ; 
it stands on a point of land at the entrance 
of Glen Morriston. There is a considerable 
waterfall in that glen upon the river Morriston. 
The old lady to whose family that country 
belongs, said once to Mr Telford that many 
English people, and some nobles among them, 
came to look at her son's waterfall ; '* some 
of them," said she, "would be very glad if 
they had it in their country, and for my 
part I wish they had. For it prevents us 
from floating our wood down, and we tried 
once to remove it by breaking the rocks." 

Loch Ness was violently agitated at the 
time of the great earthquake of 1755, which 
destroyed so large a part of Lisbon. The 
waters of the Lake were driven up the Oich 
more than two hundred yards, with a head 
like a bore or hygre, and breaking on its 
banks in a wave about three feet high. Thus 
it continued to ebb and flow for more than 
an hour. About eleven o'clock it drove up 
the river with greater force and overflowed 
the bank to the extent of thirty feet. A 


boat near the General's Hut was three times 
dashed on shore, and twice carried back ; it 
filled with water, and its load of timber was 
thrown ashore. But no agitation was felt on 
the land. Such is the account given in the 
Su7'vey of Moray. Some future Humboldt 
will avail himself of it in the first geological 
map which shall lay down the course of 

Mr Telford had written from Inverness to 
the Landlord at Fort Augustus, to secure 
beds, no unnecessary precaution in these 
touring times, especially for so large a party. 
But the letter had not been delivered. The 
Landlord had been at the post office to put 
in letters ; and yet because he did not ask 
for any, the stupid people neither gave it 
him, nor sent it to his house, tho' it is only 
a few yards off". Just such another instance 
of negligence in the management of the post 
had occurred at Jean-Town. Marshal the 
Landlord, whom T. calls Field Marshal, is 
an odd humourous sort of fellow. Take 
about half a foot from his diminutive stature, 
and he would then be quite as broad as he 
is long ; and for his figure, and his queer 
kind of conceited wit, he might serve for a 
Knight Errant's Dwarf. 


Daylight enough was left before dinner 
would be ready to walk down to the mouth 
of the river, where the dredging machine 
was at work — an engine of tremendous power, 
bringing up its chain of buckets full of stones 
and gravel, or whatever comes in its way. 
The rubbish is emptied by the buckets as 
they revolve, upon a shoot, down which it 
slides into a boat; that boat they row some 
50 or 60 yards out into the Lake — into 
40 fathom water ; and when the rubbish is 
let out by a trap door, the boat being suddenly 
lightened of its whole burthen, bounds up 
like a cork upon the water. 

The village is a poor place ; the inn most 
inconveniently built, and not well situated. 
The only good house is one which Mr Cargill 
(a Newcastle man, with a good - natured, 
intelligent face, and a genuine hui'v in his 
speech) the Master Mason of the stupendous 
works which are going on, has erected for 
himself. But the Fort itself is very pretty — 
a quiet collegiate sort of place, just fit for a 
University, if one were to be established, or 
for a Beguinage, if the times and the situation 
served. The guns have been lately removed ; 
and in two places a dwelling house makes 
part of the wall ; so that, were it not for 


the embrasures, you might come pretty near 
the works without suspecting any mihtary 
intention in the builders. However, it was 
mihtary enough for its purpose, and proved 
an effectual check upon the wild and disaffected 
clans whom it was meant to curb. The Board 
of Ordinance have lately expended 15,000£ 
in repairing the works — instead of the habita- 
tions. An officer fond either of country 
sports, or of reading, or of quiet life and a 
picturesque country, would think himself well 
off in such quarters. But such officers are 
not the sort of men which our army hitherto, 
has usually bred : and the people who have 
been stationed here, have nothing to do in 
their profession, and being incapable of doing 
anything out of it, have always been engaged 
in petty disputes, idleness and ennui generating 
peevishness, discontent and ill will. It is said 
that the expence of sending persons from 
Edinburgh to examine into the mutual 
accusations of these poor creatures, has 
frequently amounted to more in the year 
than the whole regular cost of the garrison. 

Thursday, Sej)temher 16. — Went before 
breakfast to look at the Locks, five together, 
of which three are finished, the fourth about 


half-built, the fifth not quite excavated. Such 
an extent of masonry, upon such a scale, I 
had never before beheld, each of these Locks 
being 180 feet in length. It was a most 
impressive and rememberable scene. Men, 
horses, and machines at work ; digging, wall- 
ing, and puddling going on, men wheeling 
barrows, horses drawing stones along the 
railways. The great steam engine was at 
rest, having done its work. It threw out 
160 hogsheads per minute ; and two smaller 
engines (large ones they would have been 
considered anywhere else) were also needed 
while the excavation of the lower docks 
was going on ; for they dug 24 feet below 
the surface of water in the river, and the 
water filtered thro' open gravel. The dredging 
machine was in action, revolving round and 
round, and bringing up at every turn matter 
which had never before been brought to the 
air and light. Its chimney poured forth 
volumes of black smoke, which there was 
no annoyance in beholding, because there 
was room enough for it in this wide clear 
atmosphere. The iron for a pair of Lock- 
gates was lying on the ground, having just 
arrived from Derbyshire : the same vessel 
in which it was shipt at Gainsborough, landed 


it here at Fort Augustus. To one like myself 
not practically conversant with machinery, it 
seemed curious to hear Mr Telford talk of the 
propriety of weighing these enormous pieces 
(several of which were four tons weight) and 
to hear Cargill reply that it was easily done. 

Our landlord, Field Marshal Boniface, has 
a pet sheep, rising four years old, of the 
Cheviot breed, who follows him like a dog, 
and at the word of command puts his forefeet 
on the Marshal's shoulders. Tom he is called 
— a large powerful fellow. He was introduced 
to us at breakfast, but it was no very safe 
amusement to give him bread, for Tom, when 
he had had one piece, pushed on for more with 
a strength which it was not easy to control, 
and which endangered the breakfast table. 

After breakfast we went to inspect the 
works in progress between this place and 
Loch Lochy. This was a singularly curious 
and interesting sight. What indeed could be 
more interesting than to see the greatest work 
of its kind that has ever been undertaken 
in ancient or modern times, in all stages of its 
progress — directed everywhere by perfect skill, 
and with no want of means. 

It is remarkable that in all the excavations 
which have been made for the Canal (and the 


Roads also) nothing has been found except 
a silver chain, which was near three graves, in 
the line of the Canal, near Inverness. The 
chain was very long, beautifully polished, and 
its links as large as those of a chain-cable ; 
but some of the links were destroyed before 
the Magistrates of Inverness purchased it 
from a silversmith and presented it to the 
Antiquarian Society of Edinburgh. That 
vestiges of art should not be found in a 
country which has always been savage, would 
of course be expected ; but it is remarkable 
that no savage weapons, no graves (except in 
the instance just noticed) and no fossil remains 
should have been discovered. For the excava- 
tions have been of prodigious extent. Some 
parts of the canal in which we walked this 
morning, were cut forty feet below the natural 
surface of the ground. 

The Oich has, like the Ness, been turned 
out of its course to make way for the Canal. 
About two miles from Fort Augustus is 
Hytra Lock, built upon the only piece of 
rock which has been found in this part of the 
cutting — and that piece just long enough for 
its purpose, and no longer. Unless rock is 
found for the foundation of a lock, an 
inverted arch of masonry must be formed, 


at very great expence, which after all is less 
secure than a natural bottom. At this (the 
Eastern) end of Loch Oich a dredging 
machine is employed, and brings up 800 
tons a day. Mr Hughes, who contracts for 
the digging and deepening, has made great 
improvements in this machine. We went on 
board, and saw the works ; but I did not 
remain long below in a place where the 
temperature was higher than that of a hot 
house, and where machinery was moving up 
and down with tremendous force, some of 
it in boiling water. 

There is a wooden bridge over the Oich, 
soon after it issues from the Lake. Not long 
ago a post chaise with two persons in it, fell 
thro' this bridge, and floated some way down 
before it took the ground, neither the men 
nor horses receiving any hurt. 

The Carriage had been sent to wait for us 
at the end of Loch Oich, and we went in it 
the whole length of the lake on the South 
side. On the opposite side is the residence of 
Macdonell of Glengarry, near the ruins of his 
castle which was burnt by the King's troops 
after the rebellion of 1745. The Lake is 
between three and four miles long, and 
scarcely half a mile wide. Before us to the 


N.W. was the finest mountain which I had 
yet seen in Scotland, now called, whatever its 
proper appellation may be, by the vile name 
of Glengarry's Bowling Green. I guess the 
Lake to be about six miles from its base, and 
the height to be about that of Skiddaw, 
rather greater than less. But nothing is so 
remarkable along the line of the Canal, as the 
straight regular opening which Nature has 
made for it. The highest level in the whole 
distance is but 96 feet above the sea, which is 
less than the height of Oxford Street above 
the river Thames. When the survey was 
taken, the same bearing carried the engineer 
thro' the whole length of the valley. One 
low hill near Inverness, and another near 
Fort Augustus are the only interruptions to 
the sight in looking thro' this great glen. 
Such an avenue between the mountains, 
extending from sea to sea, is in itself a noble 
sight, and a grand object for contemplation — 
it became still more so when regarded with a 
view to the use which is now to be made of it ; 
after its advantages have been neglected from 
the creation of the hills and vallies. It was 
especially beautiful this day, when light showers 
were flying about, and there was a lovely sky- 
scape of soft and silvery clouds in the West. 


We walked along the works between the 
Lakes Oich and Lochy. Here the excava- 
tions are what they call "at deep cutting," 
this being the highest ground in the line, the 
Oich flowing to the East, the Lochy to the 
Western sea. This part is performed under 
contract by Mr Wilson, a Cumberland man 
from Dalston, under the superintendence 
of Mr Easton, the resident Engineer. And 
here also a Lock is building. The earth is 
removed by horses walking along the bench 
of the Canal, and drawing the laden cartlets 
up one inclined plane, while the emptied ones, 
which are connected with them by a chain 
passing over pullies, are let down another. 
This was going on in numberless places, and 
such a mass of earth had been thrown up on 
both sides along the whole line, that the men 
appeared in the proportion of emmets to an 
ant-hill, amid their own work. The hour of 
rest for men and horses is announced by 
blowing a horn ; and so well have the horses 
learnt to measure time by their own exertions 
and sense of fatigue, that if the signal be 
delayed five minutes, they stop of their own 
accord, without it. In one or two places 
covered ways are made under the mound, 
as passages for Glengarry's cattle to the 


water, in stead of the access which they 
formerly enjoyed to the beck. The workmen 
are mostly steady industrious men, who work 
by the piece, and with a good will, because 
they are regularly paid. They have com- 
municated some industry to the inhabitants. 
We saw large fields of potatoes, intended 
for their consumption. 

We crost the beck which runs into Loch 
Oich, and returned along the north bank. 
Glengarry has erected a curious monument 
over a Well by the water side, to com- 
memorate the vengeance taken by command 
of one of his ancestors upon seven persons 
who had murdered their chieftain. On the 
top of the monument is a hand grasping a 
dagger, and holding seven heads, so grouped 
however that they look as if they grew from 
the single neck of a Hindoo God, and not 
as if each had once belonged to a pair of 
shoulders of its own. The dagger is not of 
stone — but a real dagger, to be the better 
in keeping with the savage character of the 
story. The seven heads, according to a 
tradition which no doubt is true, were washed 
in the spring, over which this hateful monu- 
ment has been erected, before they were 
presented to the chief in his Castle, close 


by. There are four long inscriptions in 
English, French, Gaelic, and Latin. The 
French is a translation of the English, the 
Gaelic may probably be so likewise ; but the 
Latin is intended for verse — and is in keep- 
ing with the story which it relates, and the 
sculpture above. The spring is arched over 
with masonry, and had very little water when 
we saw it. Close by is a dog kennel, which 
used to have a fierce inhabitant^ — perhaps he 
was hunting this day with Glengarry on the 
hills, that Cheftain having proclaimed his 
annual hunt, and annual entertainment for 
all Highlanders, at this time. He has a 
burial ground at the foot of the mountain, 
with a few trees about it, and a square 
building over the family vault. There are 
no other trees, and no other building near — 
it is therefore a striking and very interesting 
object. His house and grounds are beauti- 
fully situated near the point where the Garry 
runs into the Lake. This river we crost; 
and afterwards the Oich by the wooden 
bridge, which has been made safe since the 
chaise fell through. The day had been so 
fully occupied that it was six o'clock before 
we returned to our dirty quarters at Fort 


Friday, Seytemher 17. — When we went 
down stairs in the morning some half dozen 
sacks of salt were lying just within the 
door, which "the Ganger" had seized in 
the night. About half of them were 
replieved during the day by the summary 
mode of carrying them off. This illicit 
trade in salt grows out of the indulgence 
of Government in allowing it duty-free 
for the fisheries. The people are not con- 
tent with obtaining it for this purpose, 
and for their own domestic use : they carry 
on an extensive contraband trade in it 
with the Lowlands, and this will probably 
render it necessary to deprive them of an 
indulgence which, being reasonable in itself, 
is thus grossly abused. T. and R. had 
writing and business which took up the 
whole morning, and I was employed in bring- 
ing up my journal for the last two days. 
About four o'clock Mr Archibald Allison, 
an old friend of Mr T.'s (son of the preacher 
and essayist) came in, and Mr Hope whom 
we had met at Edinburgh, the son of the 
Lord President, with' him — pleasant and 
well-informed young men. They were on 
the circuit, and had taken this route to 


Satu7^day, Septeinber 18. — Our comical host 
every day exhibited at breakfast the fish which 
he intended for our dinner, and explained the 
difference between the river and the lake 
trout. The latter were much darker, and 
neither kind so much spotted as our English 
trout. I observed also that the flesh of 
neither (if I may speak of the flesh of fish) 
was so red when they came to table. As 
for their comparative goodness — to use that 
word almost as strangely as the Chicken, 
poor Hal Pierce (whom I remember a boy, 
at his mother, Nurse Pierce's house) used 
to do, when he estimated the goodness of 
men by the difficulty which he had found 
in beating them — I can say nothing, for they 
were cut across, like crimped fish, and then 
broiled, till the flavour, whatever it might 
have been, was broiled out of them. More- 
over, melted butter, which the Scotch use 
with nothing, except fish, is in Scotland such 
a vile mixture of flour and butter, that it is 
not fit to be used with anything. 

Dr Johnson says in one of his letters "the 
best night I have had these twenty years 
was at Fort Augustus." He therefore re- 
membered the place with pleasure. And so 
shall I — always excepting the quarters, which 



could not have been filthier in his time than 
they are at present. When we were pre- 
paring to set out, I was surprized by a 
visit from Mr Augustus Hare, whom I had 
seen at Bran Castle. He was now on his 
way southward, and had diverged hither 
for the sake of seeing both sides of Loch 

Called at Glengarry on our way to Fort 
William — this was a point of unavoidable 
courtesy on the part of R. and T. Glengarry, 
Mac-Mhic-Alastair the 17th, whose name is 
Alexander MacDonell, received us with much 
civility and apparent satisfaction, saying the 
carriage had been ordered that morning for 
Mrs MacDonell to call upon Mrs Rickman 
and invite us to dinner. He regretted that 
we had not been with him yesterday at his 
great entertainment, saying how welcome we 
should have been, and how delighted also, 
and that tho' all natives were expected to 
appear in the dress {the dress is the phrase, ut 
lucus a 7ion lucendo) strangers of course would 
have been admissible in their proper habili- 
ments. Four of the visitors were still with 
him, his brother, now Col. MacDonell, who 
distinguished himself at Waterloo ; an old 
grey-haired Major of the same name and of a 


fine soldier-like appearance ; and two sans- 
culottes, one a youth, the other a man whose 
hard and wrinkled face would have marked 
him for fifty years of age, if his hair had not 
been black, without the slightest intermixture 
of grey. Over the chimney was the key of 
the old Castle of Glengarry, of huge size, 
with an ornamented handle, and so many 
wards, that upon reflection I am almost 
inclined to suspect its authenticity. His son, 
a lad of about 14, was in the dress, with a hair 
cartridge-box hanging like a pocket before 
him, and a belt which contained in one sheath 
a knife and fork and a dirk. Glengarry 
shewed us what he called an old dirk which 
one of his people had found on the hills, 
much corroded ; it was about ten inches long, 
and served either to cut or thrust, he said, but 
was intended chiefly for an overhand stab, in 
a manner which he exemplified. The attitude 
was truly savage ; but the thing could never 
have been intended for a weapon in the 
proper meaning of the word ; tho' it would 
naturally be used as such in frays, like the 
faca in Brazil. Its right use I suppose to 
have been for hunting, and that it was such 
a knife as Sir Tristram carried in his youth, 
for performing his office, as soon as the deer 


was taken. The annual meeting had not 
been numerously attended, or we should have 
heard of the numbers. Three deer were 
killed during the two days' hunt ; one he 
brought down himself with a rifle, the buck 
having been driven towards him, as usual, 
that the Chieftain might have the honour of 
the shot ; his chief huntsman killed another ; 
the third was seized by the dogs. The dog 
which first fastened on him was pointed out 
to us when the whole pack were exhibited. 
They were all of one kind ; of the greyhound 
make, but neither quite so large, nor quite so 
slender ; and most of them shaggy — as wild 
in appearance as the mountains upon which 
they pursued their prey. 

It rained when we alighted at Glengarry's 
door, but cleared up during our stay, so that 
when we proceeded we were able to copy the 
inscriptions on his strange monument. I 
wrote down the Latin and the French, while 
R. copied the Gaelic — for the Enghsh we 
relied upon a copy which T. possesses. The 
Latin and the Gaelic I have since found 
printed by their author in a little book 
entitled Eveni Lachlanidce, Abriensis, Car- 
minum Liber Unus : Abredonia 1816 — and 
from thence 1 now transcribe them. 


Haec documenta dabit ventura in saecla columna, 

Ut dirum luerit perfida turba nefas, 
Quae quondam,^ hospitii calcatis legibus, ausa est 

Keppochios cruda tingere caede lares, 
Sanguine quae exanimes pueros foedare parentum 

Gestiit, et vacuam reddere stirpe domum. 
Non tulit Omnipotens ; armat sed vindice ferro 

Quern coluit soboles clara Donella patrem 
Glengariden.- Jubet ille ; volat cita fulminis alis, 

Demetit et trepidos Ultio justa reos, 
Impiaque abducens sontum capita, arcis in aula 

Illustris Domini conjicit ante pedes, 
Lota prius tenui quae juxta allabitur unda ; 

Hinc Capitum ^ Fontem prisca loquela vocat. 
Glengaridum insigni numeror qui stemmate proles 

Septima post"* deciraam, jura paterna tenens, 
Dictus Alistriades,^ generis Phylarcha Donelli 

Hanc volui memorem criminis esse notam. 

^ Ineunte fere saccule decimo sexto. Upon the monu- 
ment this note is inserted in the place to which it refers, 
thus — to the strange dislocation of the verse : — 

Quae quondam, ineunte fere saeculo decimo sexto 

Hospitii calcatis legibus, ausa est 
Keppochios, etc. 

2 Lord Macdonell and Aross. ^ Tobar nan Ceann. 

^ post vigesimam on the monument. The monument 
has also conficit for conjicit, and Lola for lota, but these 
are blunders of the stone cutter. 

5 The XVI Ith Mac-Mhic-Alastair. 

N.B. — Pulcherrimam Joannis Lomii earmen de hac hichiosa 
coede typis vulgavit Patricius Turnerus. Edin. 8vo, 1813. 

Clach-Chitimhne Ghlinne-Garadh a tha aig 


Fhir astair ! thig faisg is leubh 
Sgeul air ceartas an De bhuain ; 
Eisd ri diol na ceilg"" a dh' f liag 
A Cheapach 'na Laraich f huair. 
Sgaoil na milltich lion an Eig 
Mu bhord eibhinn nam fleadh fial ; 
'S mheasgnaich iad an sean 's na h-6ig 
'S an aon torr, 'na 'm fuil gun ghiomh. 

Mhosgail Corruich an t-Ard-Thriath, 
Ursann dhian nan comhlan ^ cruaidh, 
Mor-f hear Chlann-Domhnuill an fhraoich, 
Ledghunn ^ nan euchd, Craobh nam buadh ; 
Dh' iarr e, 's chaidh Dioghailt 'na leum 
Mar bheithir bheuranaich nan neal 
Ghlac i 'n dream a dheilbh an f hoill, 
'S thug lan-duais, mar thoill an gniomh. 

Lamh riut, 's a ghorm-f huaran ghrinn, 
Dh' ionnlaideadh seachd cinn nan lub, 
'S aig casaibh a Ghaisgich aigh 
Thilgeadh iad air lar a dhuin. 
Corr is Coig fichead bliadhn-deug 
Thrial] mu'n Speur bho dheas gu tuath, 
Bho'n ghairmeadh Tobar nan Ceann 
Do'n t-shruthan so'n cainnt an t-shluaigh. 

Mise 'n Seachdamh thair dheich gluin 
Do fhreumh uiseil an Laoich threin, 
Mac-Mhic-Alastair m'ainm gnaiths, 
Flath Chlann Domhnuill nan sar-euchd, 

1 Connlan. ^ Leomhann. 


Thog mi 'chlacli s' air lorn an raoin, 
Faisg air caochan a chliu bhuain, 
Mar mheas do Cheann-Stuic nan Friath 
'S gun cuimhnicht 'an gniomh ri luaths. 

En memoire | De la grande et prompte | Vengeance | 
Qui dirigee, selon le cours rapide | De la Justice 
Feodale | Par les ordres de | Lord McDonell et 
Aross, I Atteignit les auteurs ] De Thorrible assassinat | 
De la Famille Keppoch ; | Une branche du puissant 
et illustre | Clan | Dont sa Seigneurie etoit | Le 
Chef, I Ce monument est erige par | Le Colonel 
McDonell de Glengarry | Son Successeur et repre- 
sentant. | L'An du Seigneur | 1812. | Les tetes des 
sept Meurtrieres | Furent portees aux pieds du | Noble 
Chef I Dans le Chateau de Glengarry. | Apres avoir 
ete lavees | Dans cette fontaine. | Et depuis cet 
evenement, | Qui eut lieu | Les premieres annees du 
16e siecle, | Elle a toujour^ ete connue | Sous le nom 
de I La Fontaine des Tetes. 

As a Memorial | Of the ample and summary | 
Vengeance, | Which in the swift course of | Feudal 
Justice, I Inflicted by the orders of | The Lord 
McDonell and Aross, | Overtook the perpetrators of | 
The foul Murder | of | The Keppoch Family, | A Branch 
of I The Powerful and Illustrious | Clan | Of which his 
Lordship was | The Chief. | This Monument is erected 
by I Colonel McDonell of Glengarry, | XVII Mac- 
Mhic-Alaister, | His Successor and Representative, | In 
the year of our Lord | 1812. | The heads of the 
Seven Murderers | Were presented at the feet of | 


The Noble Chief, | In Glengarry Castle | After having 
been washed | In this Spring ; | And ever since that 
event | Which took place early in | The sixteenth 
Century, | It has been known by | The Name of | 
Tobar-nan-Ceann, | or | The Well of the Heads. 

That our knowledge of this extraordinary 
monument might be compleat, we procured a 
translation of the Gaelic inscription, rightly 
supposing that it was likely to be the best 
of the four. 

Traveller approach and read 

A tale of the justice of the everlasting God : 

Listen to the requital of the treachery which converted 

Keppoch into a cold habitation ! 

The destroyers spread the snare of death 

Round the glad table of the bounteous feasts ; 

And confounded the old and the young 

In the same heap, in their stainless blood. 

Roused was the sudden wrath of the Chief, 

The defending pillar of the hardy heroes ; 

The Lord of the McDonells, whose badge is the heath, 

The Lion of Renown, The Tree of Virtues. 

He ordered, and Revenge darted forth, 

Like the destructive thunderbolt of the clouds ; 

She seized the devisors of the treachery 

And rendered ample recompense, as their deed deserved. 

Near thee, in the blue clear fountain 

Were washed the seven deceitful heads. 

And at the feet of the famous Hero 

Were they thrown, on the floor of his Castle, 


More than fifteen score of years 
Have revolved round the sky from South to North 
Since this stream was called The Well of the Heads 
In the language of the people. 
I am the seventeenth descendant 
From the noble root of the mighty Hero, 
Mac-mhic-alastair my patronymic, 
Chief of the McDonells of the lofty deeds. 
I reared this Stone on the bare field, 
Hard by the brook of lasting renown. 
As a respect for the Head of Heroes, 
And that the deed might be held in lasting remem- 

We now retraced the road which we had 
gone over on Thursday, till we came to the 
head of Loch Lochy. This Lake is narrower 
than Loch Ness, and hardly half so long, the 
mountains on both sides furrowed by the 
rains, but for the most part green. Halted at 
Letter-Findlay, a single house, which is said 
to have been much improved of late ; it is not 
easy to believe that it can ever have been 
dirtier or more uncomfortable than it is now : 
however, we made a good fire, and got biscuits, 
cheese, milk, and whiskey. The road (a 
military one, now under the care of the 
Commissioners) soon leaves the side of the 
Lake, and proceeds over a wild country. It 


crosses the Speyne^ by what is properly called 
High Bridge : the bridge is in a perilous 
state, and it will be well if it stands till the 
Commissioners effect their object of tm'ning 
this road to join the Laggan road, where a 
new bridge has been erected over the same 
river. We soon came in sight of Ben 
Nevis, a precipitous, rugged, stony, uninviting 
mountain, looking as if it had been riven from 
the summit to the base, and half of it torn 
away. It is an aweful mass, and may well be 
called Big Ben — yet not the greatest of all 
Bens ; for the Ben of Bens is Ben Jonson. 
Reached Fort William at six, leaving on our 
right the ruins of Inverlochie Castle (the 
residence of barbarous Kings in barbarous 
times) and passing by a burial ground which 
is open to the road. 

Sunday, September 19. — The establishment 
of the Canal is at Corpach, on the other side 
the water. Two necks of low land form the 
division between Loch Eil and Linnhe Loch, 
at Covan Ferry (much as at Fort George). 
From that ferry. Loch Eil, upon which Fort 
William stands, runs about ten miles from 
S.W. to N.E., and then makes a bend of 

^ Spean. 


nearly equal length to the W. or W.N.W. 
The river Lochy enters at the elbow. About 
a mile from the town is a ferry over the river, 
with new piers : a bridge might easily be built 
there. The distance across the Loch from 
Fort William to Corpach, which stands at 
the bend, on the N.E. side, is a mile and 
three quarters ; there are no piers, and we 
were carried to and from the boat on men's 
shoulders. We landed close to the Sea-lock ; 
which was full, and the water running over ; 
a sloop was lying in the fine bason above ; 
and the canal was full as far as the Staircase, 
a name given to the eight successive locks. 
Six of these were full and overflowing ; and 
when we drew near enough to see persons 
walking over the lock-gates, it had more the 
effect of a scene in a pantomime, than of any 
thing in real life. The rise from lock to lock 
is eight feet, 64 therefore in all ; the length 
of the locks, including the gates and abutments 
at both ends, 500 yards — the greatest piece 
of such masonry in the world, and the greatest 
work of its kind, beyond all comparison. 

A panorama painted from this place would 
include the highest mountain in Great Britain, 
and its greatest work of art. That work is 
one of which the magnitude and importance 


become apparent when considered in relation 
to natural objects. The Pyramids would 
appear insignificant in such a situation, for 
in them we should perceive only a vain 
attempt to vie with greater things. But 
here we see the powers of nature brought 
to act upon a great scale, in subservience 
to the purposes of man : one river created, 
another (and that a huge mountain stream) 
shouldered out of its place, and art and order 
assuming a character of sublimity. Some- 
times a beck is conducted under the canal, 
and passages, called culvers, serve as a road 
way for men and beasts. We walked thro' 
one of these, just lofty enough for a man 
of my stature with his hat on : it had a very 
singular effect to see persons emerging from 
this dark, long, narrow vault. Sometimes a 
brook is taken in ; a cess-pool is then made 
to receive what gravel it may bring down : 
after it has past this pool the water flows 
thro' three or four little arches, and then 
over a paved bed and wall of masonry, into 
the Canal. These are called intakes, and 
opposite them an outlet is sometimes made 
for the waters of the canal, if they should 
be above their proper level, or when the 
cross stream may bring down a rush. These 


outlets consist of two inclined planes of 
masonry, one rising from the canal, with a 
pavement, or waste weir between them ; and 
when the cross stream comes like a torrent, 
instead of mingling with the canal, it passes 
straight across. But these channels would 
be insufficient for carrying off the whole 
surplus waters in time of floods. At one 
place therefore there are three sluices, by 
which the whole canal from the Staircase 
to the Regulating Lock (about six miles) 
can be lowered a foot in an hour. The 
sluices were opened that we might see their 
effect. We went down the bank, and made 
our way round some wet ground, till we 
got in front of the strong arch into which 
they open. The arch is about 25 feet high, 
of great strength, and built upon the rock. 
What would the Bourbons have given for 
such a cascade at Aranjuez or Versailles ! 
The rush, and the spray and the force of the 
water reminded me more of the Reichenbach 
than of any other fall. That three small 
sluices, each only four feet by three, should 
produce an effect which brought the mightiest 
of the Swiss waterfalls to my recollection 
may appear almost incredible — or at least 
like an enormous exaggeration. But the 


prodigious velocity with which the water is 
forced out by the pressure above explains 
the apparent wonder. And yet I beheld it 
only in half its strength, the depth above 
being at this time ten feet, which will be 
twenty when the canal is compleated. In a 
few minutes a river was formed, of no incon- 
siderable breadth, which ran like a torrent 
into the Lochy. 

On this part of the Canal everything is 
compleated, except that the iron bridges for 
it, which are now on their way, are supplied 
by temporary ones. When the middle part 
shall be finished, the Lochy which at present 
flows in its own channel, above the Regulating 
Lock, will be dammed there, and made to 
join the Speyne by a new cut from the Lake. 
The cut is made, and a fine bridge built over 
it. We went into the cut, and under the 
bridge which is very near the intended point of 
junction. The string-courses were encrusted 
with stalactites in a manner singularly beautiful. 
Under the arches a strong mound of solid 
masonry is built to keep the water in dry 
seasons at a certain height ; but in that 
mound a gap is left for the salmon, and a 
way made thro' the rocks from the Speyne 
to this gap, which they will soon find out. 


The houses which the Commissioners have 
built by the locks are very neat, and may serve 
as good models to the people of the country. 

Mitchell was on horseback, T. and R. were 
in M.'s gig, and I was in Mr Wilson's, who 
drove me. We got upon the Lochy-side 
road, and went as far as Auchnacarrie, the 
house of Cameron of Lochiel, and the termina- 
tion of Loch Arkeg. The view of Loch 
Lochy upon the way is finer than that from 
the southern side. After crossing the Arkeg, 
which is a fine torrent, the road enters upon 
what is called the Dark Mile. Dark enough 
it must have been, when there was only a 
horse path thro' the woods ; but the scenery 
is not such as this appellation would lead a 
traveller to expect. There are some very 
fine crags on the right, but they are at some 
distance from the road — perhaps half a mile ; 
on the left there is a high park wall. Loch 
Arkeg, where the road terminates, is at this 
end finer than any Scotch lake which I have 
seen, except Loch Kattren. It is 18 miles 
in length. The owner of this lake, and of 
the whole beautiful country round, is a poor 
creature wholly unworthy of his fortune. 
The family estate when it was restored pro- 
duced 500£ a year ; it now produces 7000£. 


3000£ are settled upon his wife who lives 
about Edinburgh, separate from him. The 
estate is in the hands of trustees, and he 
lives miserably in London upon 600£ a year, 
kept needy by his debauched course of life, 
and eking out this pittance by cutting down 
his woods ! The roads at this time are almost 
destroyed by the carriage of his timber. 

The restoration of the forfeited estates has 
produced no good in the Highlands. As an 
act of grace it carried with it not the appear- 
ance only, but the reality of great injustice, in 
restoring those families who were implicated 
in the rebellion of 1745, and not the sufferers 
of 1715, who had surely more claim to in- 
dulgence. Far better would it have been 
for the country in general, and especially for 
the poor Highlanders, if the estates had 
been retained as Crown lands, and leased 
accordingly, or even sold to strangers. The 
Highland Laird partakes much more of the 
Irish character than I had ever been taught 
to suppose. He has the same profusion, the 
same recklessness, the same rapacity ; but 
he has more power, and he uses it worse ; 
and his sin is the greater, because he has 
to deal with a sober, moral, well-disposed 
people, who if they were treated with common 


kindness, or even common justice, would be 
ready to lay down their lives in his service. 
The virtues of the feudal system are not 
extinct among them. Some fifty land- 
Leviathans may be said to possess the High- 
lands ; for the number of smaller heritors, 
or rather the land which is occupied by them, 
is comparatively a mere nothing. A few of 
these are desirous of improving their own 
estates by bettering the condition of their 
tenants. But the greater number are fools at 
heart, with neither understanding nor virtue, 
nor good nature to form such a wish. Their 
object is to increase their revenue, and they 
care not by what means this is accomplished. 
If a man improve his farm, instead of 
encouraging him, they invite others to out- 
bid him in the rent ; or they dispeople whole 
tracks to convert them into sheep - farms. 
Whereas if they would offer beneficial leases 
to their tenants, and let out their waste 
ground, as Evan Baillie is doing, to men 
who are willing to bring it into cultivation, 
such is the disposition of the Highlanders 
(manifested by them wherever they have 
opportunity to manifest it) that in half a 
century the Highland vallies would be as 
well cultivated as any part of England. 



The mountains where they afford anything, 
can necessarily afford nothing but wood and 
pasture. And it would be better if the 
people would give up altogether the cultiva- 
tion of grain, and cease to contend with 
nature. For pasture and green crops no 
country can be better adapted. They should 
look to their live stock, to their wool (which 
they should learn to spin and to knit, like the 
Welsh) and — when they have learnt cleanliness 
— to their dairies. And they should depend 
upon potatoes as the staff of life, rather than 
bread. He who could introduce among them 
the use of sour krout would be their bene- 
factor ; for cabbage will keep in this state as 
long as may be required ; and is a plant 
which they might cultivate with advantage 
both far their cattle and themselves. 

I went back on the S. side of the river with 
R. in Mitchell's gig. Had the distance been 
a few miles farther, I believe neither my poor 
pantaloons, nor my poorer flesh, nor the solid 
bones beneath, could have withstood the 
infernal jolting of this vehicle, tho' upon 
roads as smooth as a bowling green. As for 
M., he is so case-hardened that if his horse's 
hide and his own were tanned, it may be 
doubted which would make the thickest and 


toughest leather. But for me — Pone me 
nigi'is uhi nulla cavipis, etc. — in short pone 
me anywhere, except in Mitchell's gig. 

We returned to dinner so late, that before 
we rose from table it was nearly ten o'clock. 

Mo7iday, September 20. — Left the Ladies, 
and went in the coach eleven miles along the 
Laggan road. Crost the new bridge over 
the Speyne (one of Wilson's building) and 
proceeded to a smaller bridge over the Roy. 
Mitchell and Wilson were on horseback, and 
while their horses rested M. urged us to go 
three or four miles farther along the road, 
which is but just finished, for the purpose of 
seeing it ; by way of inducement, he added 
that there were some good falls to be seen. 
He had reason to be proud of the road, which 
is made with consummate skill and care. 
Davison was the contractor ; an honest, plain, 
contented man, who works with his workmen, 
places all his pride and pleasure in performing 
his work well, and has lost by several of his 
contracts. If ours were not an economical 
government, such a man would be not merely 
reimbursed, but remunerated as he deserves — 
but as things are, he must put up with his 
loss for his pains. These roads when they are 


cut thro' the rock, or have the high bank 
turfed on one side, and are walled up and 
parapetted on the other, are beautiful works of 
art ; and even when they have no picturesque 
features of this kind, you cannot look forward 
or backward upon them without a sense of 
order, and care and fitness, which is a pleasure 
of no mean degree. The valley of the 
Speyne is very pleasing. The part which 
Mitchell praised shows that there was formerly 
a lake there, and that the river has worked for 
itself a deep and narrow channel thro' the 
rocks. In one part of these streights there is 
a natural weir, formed by a single stone, like 
a huge slate set upright, with deep water on 
the upper side. One of the falls will be 
destroyed whenever this thin barrier shall 
give way. 

Returning to Roy Bridge we mounted on 
horseback, having Mr Wilson for our guide, 
and proceeded to Glen Roy for the sake of 
seeing the Parallel Roads. In no part of our 
journey could fine weather have been more 
desirable, and never was there a finer day. 
Glen Roy is the loveliest glen which I have 
seen in Scotland ; it is very narrow, beautifully 
green, and has a clear, sparkling stream, and 
the ascent for 100 or 150 yards is thickly 


sprinkled with alders growing, not like 
bushes, but like trees in an orchard. The 
Parallel Roads are among the most extra- 
ordinary objects in Europe or in the world. 
How would they have excited the astonish- 
ment and the speculations of learned men if 
they had been discovered in Asia or America ! 
Humboldt would have travelled to the 
Antipodes to see them. They are three 
broad and distinct terraces strongly defined, 
upon both sides of the glen, and of those 
glens which communicate with it ; all at a 
great height, perfectly level, and perfectly 
parallel with each other, extending as far as 
we could see, which was several miles, and 
comprising in all not less than an hundred 
miles. It would not have been possible to 
visit this extraordinary scene with better 
companions, than such a surveyor as Mr 
Telford, such a practical workman as Wilson, 
and such a clear, quick, accurate scrutinizer 
as R., the strongest-headed and most sagacious 
man whom I have ever known. I shall here 
transcribe his account of it. 

"To see the Parallel Roads of Glen Roy 
without too much fatigue, it is necessary to 
have a Highland Poney in waiting at the 
Keppoch Inn, near the bridge which was 


built over the river Roy in 1817. From this 
bridge, a country road leads northward up 
Glen Roy. From the Roy bridge itself, 
looking southward, faint traces are visible 
of a single road winding round the middle 
height of the mountains. Ascending the 
glen, about two miles from the bridge, all the 
surrounding hills and glens are more and 
more distinctly marked with one, two, or 
three roads, parallel with each other and 
horizontal ; the upper road originating near 
the sources of the rivers Spey and Roy, and 
passing down Glen Roy and its side glens 
to a distance of eleven or twelve miles. The 
middle road, always 80 feet perpendicular 
below the upper road, commences about two 
miles lower than it in the glen, and accom- 
panies it, generally speaking, about 7 miles 
down the proper Glen Roy. The lower road, 
always 200 feet perpendicular below the 
middle road, commences about two miles 
lower in the glen, and continues to accompany 
the other two for five miles on each side of 
the glen. 

"None of the distances above mentioned 
include the many windings of these roads, 
which may be estimated by considering how 
far a line must be carried to maintain its level 


in a rugged country ; so that their whole 
length exceeds in the aggregate 100 miles : 
their breadth appears to have been from 30 
to 70 feet. 

"A road passing six miles up the sides of 
Glen Gloy (which connects from the westward 
with Glen Roy) is horizontal in itself, but 
not on the same level as any of the before- 
mentioned roads, being 20 feet higher than 
the highest of them. It is separated from 
them by marshy ground, so high as to cut 
off the direct view from level to level ; 
requiring therefore a transfer of level, which 
cannot be accomplished at all without using 
something equivalent to a plumb line ; nor 
very accurately with that, if not suitably 
adapted to modern surveying instruments." 

The theory which attempts to account for 
these roads by the action of water had never 
for a moment appeared tenable, and here 
upon the spot its absurdity was at once seen 
and demonstrated : for, as Mr Telford pointed 
out, it was manifest that the roads had been 
made since the ravines — to use no farther 
argument. In one place he and Wilson, on 
their former visit, observed a rock which had 
certainly been broken by art ; on such a point 
Wilson's judgement is like that of a Lord 


Chancellor in law. R. too was satisfied of 
the fact, when the rock was shewn him. 

For what can these surprizing roads have 
been made ? A genuine Ossian would probably 
have informed me. The only information 
which can now be hoped for, must be sought 
from etymology. It is likely that the hills 
and glens retain in their names some allusion 
to the actions of which they were the theatre. 
T. and R. will use means for obtaining these 
names and their interpretation ; and I think 
they will confirm our conjecture that these 
roads were intended for a display of barbarous 
magnificence in hunting. 

We rode up the hill, and along one of the 
roads as far as was practicable, then sent the 
beasts to wait for us in the country road below, 
and thus we advanced about six miles in all, 
from Roy Bridge ; then descended to the 
bottom, remounted, and returned along that 
beautiful glen. Keppoch, the scene of the 
murder recorded by Glengarry's monument, 
is near the bridge ; it is now a tolerably good 
house. We returned to a late dinner. A 
note came from the Rev'd Hector Allan 
requesting he might be permitted to see me. 
I returned for answer that I would call on 
him at 10 o'clock on the morrow. 


Tuesday, September 21. — The fort here is 
not so pleasantly situated as that at Fort 
Augustus, nor so picturesque in itself; but it 
is the only decent part of this place. The 
town is one long, mean, filthy street ; the inn 
abominably dirty ; worse even, in this respect 
than the Field Marshal's, which was worse 
than any of our former quarters. We are 
in a spacious room, about 36 feet by 18, with 
an ornamented cieling, from which the white- 
lime is peeling off. There are several panes 
of bulls-eye glass in the windows, two or 
three patched panes, and one broken one. 
The sashes are not hung — this indeed is the 
case everywhere. In one corner of the room 
is a bed, behind a folding screen. T. occupies 
this bed, and I have one upon the floor ; 
we arranged matters thus the first night, 
rather than either of us would sleep in a 
double-bedded room, where the other bed was 
occupied by a gentleman and his son. This 
is the only inn in which we have met with 
dishonesty in wine, Cape having been produced 
here for Sherry ; but the Port, as it is every- 
where, is good. Everywhere else we have 
had cream ; here they say it is never to be 
had. They are out of bread at this time, 
for want of barm, a word which is in use here 


as well as in Somersetshire. The spoons are 
some iron, some pewter. Even at Inverness, 
where everything else was good, the spoons 
were not silver. In the poorer inns the 
sheets are generally calico ; and in most 
places the towels are pieces of thin calico, 
hardly larger than doylies. 

Mr Allan proved to be a very young man, 
of pleasing countenance. After my visit he 
sent me a civil note, and a few pamphletts with 
some poems by Miss Campbell, a Shetland 
poetess ; and a Gaelic grammar from one of 
his friends. The remainder of the morning 
was employed upon this journal, while T. 
was busy with his accounts at Corpach. He 
brought from thence an unfinished plan of 
the Parallel Roads by Mr Easton, who is the 
Superintendant of the Canal on this side, as 
Mr Davison is on the other. When it is 
compleated and made as correct as possible, 
T. intends to have it engraved. 

R. brought from Corpach this inscription ; 
the monument whereon it is inscribed is 
visible from Fort William : " Sacred to the 
Memory of Colonel John Cameron, Eldest 
son of Sir Ewan Cameron of Fassefern, 
Bart. : whose mortal remains, transported 
from the field of glory where he died, rest 


here with those of his forefathers. During 
twenty years of active military services, with 
a spirit which knew no fear, and shunned no 
danger, he accompanied or led in marches, 
in sieges, in battles, the gallant 92d regiment 
of Scottish Highlanders, always to honour, 
almost always to victory ; and at length in 
the forty second year of his age, upon the 
memorable 16th day of June, a.d. 1815, was 
slain in the command of that corps while 
actively contributing to achieve that decisive 
victory of Waterloo, which gave peace to 
Europe ; thus closing his military career, 
with the long and eventful struggle in which 
his services had been so often distinguished. 
He died lamented by that unrivalled General 
to whose long train of success and victory 
he had so often contributed ; by his Country 
from which he had repeatedly received marks 
of the highest consideration ; and by his 
Sovereign who graced his surviving family 
with those marks of honour which could 
not follow to this place him whose merit 
they were designed to commemorate. Reader, 
call not his fate untimely who thus honoured 
and lamented closed a life of fame by a death 
of glory." A public service as well as a 
private duty is performed in erecting such 


monuments — anywhere they must be regarded 
with interest, but especially in a scene like 

The Parnassia Palustris is common in 
Scotland, but seldom, I think, is so large as 
with us in Cumberland. The best specimens 
which I have met with were on the hill, 
high up, about the Parallel Roads. I have 
seen no club-moss ; no stone fern, and very 
little of the lichen geographicus ; there is 
some on the Picts House, but it is not vivid. 
On the hill side in Glen Roy I observed 
some fine specimens of a rare lichen, a greenish 
cream colour, with liver-coloured tubercles. 
The yew must be a rare tree in Scotland for 
I have never seen it in a wild state, and I am 
not sure that I have seen the holly. Stinging 
nettles are not common. 

Our own Lakes will appear to advantage 
after the Scotch, just as they appear to a 
disadvantage after the Swiss and Italian, being 
as much superior in their accompaniments of 
fertility and beauty to the former, as they 
are inferior to the latter. The Scotch lakes 
usually fill the valley — as if, for example, 
Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite were united 
and widened, from the foot of Barrow, Whin- 
latter and Withop, to the foot of Skiddaw — 


more than is gained in magnitude is lost in 
beauty — the human, habitable scenery is 
wanting. There is a monotony in woods of 
birch which accords with the simple, sombre, 
severe character of the Scotch Lakes : the 
leaves are too small and too twinkling to 
mass together in any point of view ; and 
their colour at this season, before the slightest 
autumnal change is perceptible, very nearly 
resembles that of the hills. Where they are 
thinly sprinkled, they reminded me both in 
their hue and manner of growth of the 
stunted ilex in Extremadura. 

We asked if our linen was ready ; and the 
reply was that they were toasting it. 

Wednesday, Septemhei^ 22. — When Mr 
Telford paid the bill, he gave the poor girl 
who had been waiter, chambermaid, and 
probably cook in chief also, a twenty shillings 
bill. I shall never forget the sudden 
expression of her countenance and her eyes 
when she understood that it was for herself. 
It instantly brought Wordsworth's lines to 
my mind : — 

I have heard of hearts unkind, kind deeds 

With coldness still returning ; 
Alas, the gratitude of man 

Has oftener left me mourning. 


The road to Balichulish Ferry lies for 
about nine or ten miles along the side of 
Loch Eil, and in some places requires a 
parapet ; for it is everywhere very narrow, 
and being merely the military road repaired, 
but nowhere altered, often passes over an 
eminence which might easily have been 
avoided. We alighted at Coran Ferry, and 
while R. went across with M. and Willy to 
look at the pier on the opposite side, the rest 
of us amused ourselves on the rocky shores of 
the great Linnhe Loch. It was low water 
and we found matter enough for amusement 
and wonder. Every rock and every stone 
was either studded, or compleatly encrusted 
with barnacles and limpits, for the most part 
very small. Periwinkles, small whilks, and 
many varieties of smaller shell fish were in 
abundance among the sea weed. There was 
a sort of sea slug, most of them about the size 
of the common large slug, but shorter and 
thicker in proportion — one which I saw was 
as large as a middling-sized apple. There was 
also a white gelatinous creature growing to 
the rocks and stones almost in the manner 
that that ligneous kind of fungus grows upon 
an old tree, but more resembling a tape worm 
than anything else. Here were young crabs 


in plenty, small soldier crabs in periwinkle 
shells ; star fish, one of five arms and of a 
whitish colour, and a red one with thirteen — 
for the first time I had full opportunity of 
seeing the motion of these creatures in the 
water — two sea snakes about six inches in 
length, with black eye-like spots on each 
side the back bone, two and two at equal 
distances ; they sought to secrete themselves 
under the stones, and when they were touched 
and driven into a pool of water, they splashed 
about with great force, as if that violent 
motion were their means of defence — some 
green gelatinous tubular substances (rather 
too hard to be properly called gelatinous, tho' 
I know not how else to describe them) 
adhering to the rocks ; lastly one of those 
globular jellies which I have sometimes seen 
dead on the beach, and sometimes alive from 
a ship's deck ; but never before was able to 
observe closely, in its natural state and 
freedom. It opened itself like a cup and 
then almost closed again ; this was done with 
a slow and not ungraceful motion, and as it 
opened the works, if so they may be called, of 
this organized jelly became visible — of a 
purple colour, not so distinctly defined in 
the middle as in the veins and filaments which 


ramified from thence toward the circumference. 
I could not have enjoyed a more lively 
pleasure in all this if I had been five and 
thirty years younger, and I think Mrs R. and 
Miss Emma enjoyed it quite as much. 

Here the road turns aside from Loch Eil, 
at the place where it joins the Linnhe Loch, 
and crosses the peninsula to Loch Leven, 
another inlet of the sea, connected with the 
great Linnhe Loch by a narrow straight (not 
more than half a mile across at high water) 
at Balachulish Ferry. The distance is four 
miles, and the country of a more cultivated 
and warmer appearance than any we had 
lately seen, well wooded with hazel, ash and 
alder, and thorns of every kind, and having 
cultivated fields close to the sea beach. In 
some of these fields heaps of sea weed, 
collected for manure, were lying on the part 
from which the harvest had been carried ; and 
fishing nets were extended to dry over the 
shocks of oats. We came, when we drew 
near the Ferry, upon a bank about forty feet 
above high water, evidently thrown up by 
the sea, because it consists of the same stones 
and gravel as the beach itself. The bank 
itself is cultivated, but on the other side is 
a peat moss. 


There is a small Inn on this side of the 
ferry, and another on the opposite shore. 
The first is much cleaner, and consequently 
much more comfortable than the house at 
Fort William, or than the Field Marshal's. 
Indeed the quarters in these parts were truly 
characterized by Wordsworth, when he said 
of them, in Barnabean, but sober verse : — 

Fort Augustus 

Did disgust us, 
And Fort William did the same 

At Letter Finlay 

We fared thinly ; 

At Balachulish 

We looked foolish 
Wondering why we thither came. 

The weather luckily was not such as to make 
us look foolish at this formidable ferry ; and 
the Inn is in better condition than he 
found it. 

We walked up the Loch to enjoy the 
glorious mountain scenery by which we were 
surrounded, for certainly this is one of the 
finest spots we have seen, or can expect to 
see. Yet even the mountains of Glencoe 
will not leave with me a more vivid recollec- 
tion than a solitary sea bird, which while we 
were sitting upon a little rocky knoll, dived 


into the water just below us, and when it 
emerged shook its wings, turned up its white 
breast, which actually seemed to flash like 
silver in the light, and sported so beautifully 
and so happily, that I think few sportsmen 
could have pulled a trigger to destroy so 
joyous a creature. 

A plant of which there are two kinds, one 
red, the other green, grows upon the stones 
above high water ; it is salt and crisp ; I 
suppose it to be a sort of samphire, but 
whatever it is, if it be not unwholesome, it 
would make an agreable pickle. At dinner 
apple sauce with currant jelly was served 
up as a separate dish. 

The evening was glorious. To the west 
the Linnhe Loch lay before us, bounded by 
the mountains of Morvern. Between those 
two huge mountains, which are of the finest 
outline, there is a dip somewhat resembling 
a pointed arch inverted ; and just behind 
that dip the sun, which had not been visible 
during the day, sunk in serene beauty, with- 
out a cloud ; first with a saffron, then with 
a rosey light, which embued the mountains, 
and was reflected upon the still water up to 
the very shore beneath the window at which 
we stood, delighted in beholding it. It is 


only at the equinox that the sun sets just 
behind that opening ; and it is but seldom 
that so clear and spotless a sky is to be seen 
in these latitudes. The effect was such that 
I could almost have wished I were a believer 
in Ossian. 

The carriage, the gig, and the horses were 
sent across, and the rest of the party crossed 
also, leaving T. and myself on this side. We 
were obliged thus to divide, because neither 
house was large enough to supply beds for 
the whole company. It is a perilous ferry. 
The tide, having ten miles of lake to fill 
above the straight, presses thro' with great 
rapidity. The passage is impracticable with 
a strong westerly wind ; with a strong easterly 
one very difficult. And there are no means 
for embarking horses or carriage with con- 
venience, so that travellers who know the 
place always look on to this passage with 
apprehension. Dr Wood told me at Perth 
that he had a horse drowned here two years 
ago. The circumstance was well remembered. 
The animal being restive, and restless in the 
boat, jumped over, and in so doing knocked 
the coachman overboard. The other horse, 
a poor quiet creature and used to follow his 
companion implicitly, plunged into the water 


after them ; the coachman caught hold of 
this poor horse, and losing all consideration 
in fear for himself, got astride his neck, by 
which he kept his head down, and drowned 
him ; but his own life was saved, and so was 
the other beast. 

Thursday, Septembe?' 23. — I observed these 
names written with a pencil on the window 
shutter, Henri de Ravaillac, and Pierre Marat. 
It is worthy of notice, as showing what kind 
of spirits are abroad. 

We rose early enough to be on the south 
side of the water by half past six. The tide 
was running very strong, and carried us far 
above the landing place, but we then easily 
made way along the shore by favour of the 
eddy. The Landlord who assisted in rowing 
told us he had lived eighteen years with 
Lochiel, and bore testimony that during all 
that time Lochiel had borne and deserved 
the character of a kind-hearted and amiable 
man. It appeared to him utterly unaccount- 
able how he could have been so entirely 
changed ; for he has treated his wife so as 
to render a separation necessary, lives with a 
woman servant, and has wasted his property. 

The rest of the party not being ready to 


start, T. and I walked forward. The road 
for two or three miles winds along the side 
of Loch Leven. The water is beautifully 
transparent ; and as we stopt and looked over 
a high parapet to enjoy the fine view of 
mountains all around, we saw one of the 
globular jelly fish just below, making more 
way in the water than we should have thought 
it capable of making, had we judged only 
from yesterday's observation. Past some slate 
quarries, and a small poor village close by. 
A boy about four years old was standing at 
one of the doors, with no other clothing 
than half a shirt. A sloop was lying off 
shore, to load, I suppose, with slate ; some- 
times they take wool for their lading, and 
slate for ballast. 

Here the road leaves the Loch, and enters 
a valley which is the vestibule to Glencoe — 
a beautiful scene. It may be likened to 
Borrodale ; the hills are higher, but they are 
bare, and the vale is certainly inferior in 
beauty, as much as the surrounding heights 
are superior in magnitude. The glen may be 
compared to the pass from Euttermere to 
Borrodale ; but it is longer and upon a greater 
scale. We saw it in fine weather, when all 
the mountain rills and ravines were dry, 


and the stream itself had consequently little 
water : but in storms and rainy seasons it is 
a terrific place. On the fourth of this month, 
when we were on the road to Dingwall, we 
saw that there was bad weather in the West. 
Garrow, who inspects the Argyleshire roads, 
and who joined us this morning in Glencoe, 
told us there had been a storm here on that 
day greater than any for twelve years. An 
old man, an inhabitant of the glen, assured 
him that the sparks from the stones which 
were brought down from the mountain seemed 
to sheet the hill sides with fire (exaggerated 
as this must be, I think it right to repeat it 
as it was said) and that at night the people 
got their cattle ready to drive off at any 
moment, lest they should be overwhelmed 
in their houses, for they thought that "the 
whole hills were coming down upon them." 
About half way up the Glen is a small 
lake. There has evidently been a larger one, 
before the river made its way thro' the 
barrier. The mountains are almost as bare, 
indented, furrowed, and serrated as those 
about Aix in Savoy. One point is called the 
Devil's head ; another his Teeth. It is now 
become impossible to maintain a good road 
thro' Glencoe, because of the rapid wreck of 


the mountains, which goes on, year after year, 
with increasing rapidity. An old shepherd 
of the country tells JNIitchell that 25 years ago 
the hill sides here were green, and without 
screes. They are now cut into innumerable 
small ravines, down every one of which the 
screes are brought by the rain, and wherever 
a torrent brings them across the road, the 
road is immediately rendered impassable. It 
would hardly have been passable for our 
carriage, if Garrow, and McGregor (the con- 
tractor) knowing of our coming, had not 
employed their men yesterday to clear the 
way for us. We found the men at work. 
But where there are now ten or twelve of 
these petriferous torrents (let me use a 
Johnsonian word for brevity) — there will be 
ten times as many in another year ; for there 
are an infinite number on the way. No care 
can guard against them ; and the only remedy 
must be to look for a better line of road — 
which may easily be found, and which will 
have the desirable effect of avoiding Bala- 
chulish Ferry. 

The Honistar pass is in some points finer 
than Glencoe ; the glen is narrower, the 
stream therefore larger in proportion ; the 
ascent is more continuously steep, therefore 


the stream has a more rapid com'se ; and the 
bottom is interspersed with huge stones, and 
tabular masses of stone, like the Mesa dos 
Ladrones, or Robber's Table, between Ourem 
and Thomar. But the upper end of Glencoe 
admits of no comparison ; it has a grand 
character of desolation, not to be found in 
our happier Land of Lakes. When you 
reach the head another glen is seen on the 
right, leading over a halse to Loch Etive, and 
thence to the Western Sea. About three 
miles on the summit, 14f from the ferry, is 
the Kings House, a solitary inn, upon level 
ground, about 1200 feet above the level of 
the sea. 

There were two beds in the room wherein 
we breakfasted. For the first time upon 
our journey, the house could supply no bread, 
but in apprehension of this at other places we 
had brought on loaves from Fort Augustus. 
There were, however, turkey as well as hen's 
eggs, a shoulder of lamb, and cream for the 
tea, which we had not found either at the 
Ferry or Fort William. Both here and at 
the Ferry there was handsome English china. 
Goats are kept here, and they make goat 
hams, which I was desirous of tasting, but 
they had none drest, nor in a state for carrying 


on, for they were in salt, and had not yet 
been smoked. The level on which the house 
stands may be considered as part of the Moor 
of Rannoch, the most elevated level in this 
part of the Highlands, from whence the 
waters flow in all directions, East, West, and 
North and South. It is a tract of peat and 
gravel with detached pieces and crags of 
granite. I saw a few specimens of the lichen 
geographicus, which is so common and so 
beautiful in Cumberland. 

A great contraband trade in salt is carried 
on upon these roads. G arrow told us an 
instance which had lately occurred within his 
knowledge, A man who had formerly worked 
on the roads, but who found that the illicit 
salt - trade was a more gainful occupation, 
made a bargain at the Kings House to give 
six bolls of salt for a new cart, and deliver 
four of them at Tynedrum, and the other 
two at Balachulish. The value of the cart 
was six or seven pound, the salt had cost 
him 7s. 6d. per boll, and he estimated the 
charge of delivering it at 10s. so the bargain 
on his side was a good one. On the other 
hand the purchaser sold it again for 2£ per 
boll, and thus made more than an equal profit. 
His market for the four bolls was at Killin ; 


I did not learn whither the rest was conveyed 
from Balachulish. The Excise officers give 
very little interruption to this trade, because 
the value of a seizure is far from being an 
adequate compensation for the trouble and 
risque of making it. There is a great profit 
to be made by dealing in smuggled salt, and 
very little by seizing it. The Landlord of 
the Kings House took that Inn ten years 
ago, and had only a capital of 70£ to begin 
with. This year he has taken a large farm, 
and laid out 1500£ in stocking it. 

10 miles to Inveroran, over the Black 
Mountain. The road crosses this height, 
when it might have kept the level of the 
stream, and avoided the whole ascent and 
descent. Roots of trees are visible every- 
where in the peat-soil ; from the manner 
in which they are extended horizontally, I 
suppose them to have been firs. The first 
chearful prospect was that of Loch Totty, 
a small lake the triangular shape of which 
is well laid down in the Commissioners map ; 
there is a little cultivation on its borders, 
and the rising ground on the South is prettily 
covered with a natural grove of firs. Lord 
Breadalbane is building a new Inn at Inver- 
oran, upon a poor mean scale, in a situation 


where a tolerable one would be very useful ; 
but it will be better than the present, which 
is a wretched hovel, having two beds, the 
only ones for travellers, in the only sitting 
room. Some paltry prints over the fireplace, 
of the Battle of Waterloo, where Bonaparte 
is fighting on horseback, sword in hand 
— Prince Leopold, and the poor Princess 
Charlotte. This is the only place we have 
called at, at which no milk could be obtained. 
10 miles to Tynedrum, or Tyandrum — 
whichever way the word be spelt, it is pro- 
nounced as two syllables. The road lay along 
the Orchy, till that stream turned westward 
into Glenorchy then it ascended among 
mountains, of which the higher and more 
distant were stript to the bone, the nearer 
and inferior ones beginning to undergo the 
same process of destruction. Yet this process 
is sometimes impeded, and grass, I know not 
how, overspreads the furrows with which the 
steep sides are scored. The last three miles 
of the stage are on a descent, and unhappily 
they are — in Perthshire ; therefore they formed 
a sad contrast to the fine smooth roads on 
which we had for three weeks been travelling : 
for the Perthshire roads are in a most 
barbarous and disgraceful state. We past 


a precipice down which a chaise had fallen 
some few years ago, with a gentleman, his 
wife, and a daughter in it ; the gentleman 
received so much hurt that he died in two 
or three days, the wife had her thigh broken, 
the daughter alone escaped ; the driver broke 
both legs, and one horse was killed. 

Tynedrum is said to stand on higher ground 
than any other house in G. Britain. The 
abominable candles here have almost blinded 
me. They are of home manufactory, made of 
the tallow of braxie sheep (this is Mitchell's 
explanation) — that is, of sheep who died of 
some disease, I know not exactly what. I 
fancied that the tallow had been salted, and 
that the unexcised salt had spoilt the un- 
excised candles ; something however it is 
which concretes round the wick, and snuffing 
is of no use. 

Now my weary lids I close, 
Lead me, lead me to repose. 

Friday, September 24. — The house at 
Tynedrum stands alone ; at a little distance 
there is a wretched assemblage of hovels 
called Clifton. The country round is black 
and dreary, with high mountains on all sides ; 
no cultivation except immediately about these 


hovels ; no trees : the Fillan, a melancholy- 
stream in the bottom. 

12 miles to Dalmally. The Perthshire 
road continues little more than one, and 
glad were we to leave it. These roads are 
in the midst of Lord Breadalbane's estates ; 
and the punishment would not be more than 
he deserves for suffering them to continue 
in this barbarous state, if his Lordship were 
condemned to be driven upon them from 
morning till night, till they should be 
compleatly reformed, at his charge. 

I heard to-day some curious proofs of the 
effect produced by reforming the military 
roads. The postmaster at Dalmally assured 
Garrow, that before they were placed under 
the care of the Commissioners, the regular 
lading of a one-horse cart was nine cubic feet 
of timber, and now the same carts regularly 
carry twenty or twenty one. And yet it is 
the structure only of the roads that has been 
improved ; their direction continues the same, 
needlessly steep and needlessly circuitous, 
thereby occasioning loss of time, and a 
grievous waste of exertion for the horses. 
The blacksmith at Fort Augustus complains 
that in consequence of the improvement, his 
business in repairing carriages is lessened to 


the amount of seven pound a year, and the 
blacksmith at Inverary computes his yearly 
loss at fifteen. On the other hand, a farmer 
who lives somewhere in Strath Speyne, says 
that if the road which has been talked of for 
that part of the country should be made, he 
should consider it as saving him a shilling per 
head upon each of his sheep, or adding that 
to their value, by the facility of taking them 
to market, or opening a way for customers. 

The Fillan spreads into a small lake, or 
broad, in its course. About the ninth mile 
we descended into the valley, which the road 
ought always to have followed : the country 
then improved ; the Fillan fell into the 
Orchy, which came from the right, and the 
white tower of Dalmally Kirk appeared, 
standing alone, amid some fine trees. The 
Inn in this very pretty village is far better 
than any between it and Inverness. The 
Kirk, which appears so well at a little distance, 
seems a strangely incongruous pile when it is 
examined : for the body of the building is 
an octagon, and the tower would not mis- 
become a good Enghsh Church. A great 
proportion of the grave stones bear the name 
of Campbell. It seems the custom everywhere 
in Scotland to engrave sculls, and other such 


hideous emblems of mortality upon the tomb 
stones : here upon a smith's, his pincers, 
hammer, and bellows were sculptured. The 
Manse, as usual, is the best house in the 
place. It is always in a Scotch village what 
the Squire's house is in an English one. 

16 to Inverary. A little beyond Dalmally 
we met two Highlanders, apparently gentle- 
men, in their full dress, with the pouch and 
dirk ; one of them carried a gun. Three 
ladies were with them ; they were on foot, 
and we should have supposed it to be a bridal 
party, if the females had been correspondently 
dressed, or more Lady-like in their appearance. 
Loch Awe was soon in sight, with a number 
of small islands, beautifully diversified with 
wood ; the ruins of a Castle upon one. This 
is a very large and fine fresh water lake ; it 
discharges itself, not far from Dalmally, thro' 
a fine chasm to the N.W. into Loch Etive. 
Three large ash trees by the road side are 
known by the name of the Three Sisters, 
from the persons who planted them — and this 
was all we heard. A more durable monument 
these sisters, whoever they were, might have 
left, but not a more beautiful, nor a more 
affecting one, under whatever circumstances 
they may have planted the trees which have 


already so long survived them ; whether in 
the joyousness of childhood, with no fore- 
thought and forefeeling to disturb their 
enjoyment — or perhaps with too much of 
that feeling when they were about to be 
separated for the first time, or for ever. 

Leaving Loch Awe on the right, we crossed 
a high hill, and descended into the Duke of 
Argyll's domains. The change in the appear- 
ance of the country which began before we 
came to Dalmally, was greater here. There 
are fine trees in abundance of all the kinds 
which are common in Cumberland. Near 
the road, three miles from Inverary, is a fine 
fall ; it was seen to disadvantage because of 
the dryness of the season, but it must be 
an impressive scene when the river is full. 
The man who keeps the key of the gate points 
out as a sight some trout in the pool at the 
bottom. The road goes thro' the Duke's 
woods and, passing under an arch, comes to 
the Inn, which is upon the shore of Loch 
Fine, looking to Inverary Castle, to the 
wooded heights behind it, the handsome 
bridge over the little river Ary (?) — this 
noble inlet of the sea, and the surrounding 

Inverary is a small town, built by the 


last Duke, who spent a long life most 
meritoriously in improving his extensive 
estates and especially this fine place. The 
main street, terminated by a Kirk, reminded 
me of those little German towns, which in 
like manner have been created by small 
Potentates, in the plenitude of their power. 
They are building a town-house, which is 
in a good style, and will be a handsome 
edifice : and they have built on a line with 
the Inn a huge prison. Both the Scotch 
and English have an unaccountable liking 
for ]ai\s-ojmees ; the former used to orna- 
ment theirs with a spire when they discarded 
spires from the churches. At a little distance 
the appearance of these large buildings upon 
the shore, and the whole surrounding scenery, 
bore no faint resemblance to a scene upon 
the Italian Lakes (Como more particularly) 
both in the character of the buildings, and 
the situation. The day was not favourable — 
a grey, Scotch, sunless sky ; and the water 
of course grey also ; but not hfeless, for there 
was just wind enough to keep up a sea-like 
murmur upon the stoney beach. The only 
bright part of the landscape was immediately 
about the Castle, where the grass under the 
trees was of a rich and vivid green. But 



even with the disadvantage of this sombre 
atmosphere, Inverary still, on the whole, 
exceeded anything which I have seen in 
G. Britain. 

Many fields of potatoes between this place 
and Tynedrum are struck by the frost. 

Saturday, Septeviher 25. — The steam boat 
which has lately been started to ply between 
Glasgow and Fort William, and touch at the 
interjacent places, brings a great number of 
visitors to Inverary. As many as an hundred 
have sometimes landed there, to idle away 
more or less time, according to their means 
and leisure ; many of them landing in the 
morning and returning in the evening. A 
revenue cutter is lying in the bay. 

The herrings of this Loch are generally 
reputed to be the best on the Western coast ; 
tho' every Loch claims the superiority for 
its own ; and all the Westerns insist that 
the herrings on the Eastern coast are so 
poor that they are fit for nothing but the 
West India market. But I who have revelled 
upon herrings this season ; so that this year 
of my life might be designated as the great 
Herring year — I who have eaten them with 
proper constancy, at breakfast, at dinner, and 


at supper also, when we supt, wherever they 
were to be had, from Dundee to Inverary — 
I as a true lover and faithful eater of this 
incomparable fish, am bound to deliver a 
decided opinion in favour of the herrings of 
CuUen above all others whatsoever. 

This fishery is an inexhaustible source of 
good and wholesome food, but not an in- 
exhaustible source of commerce and wealth, 
as has been too often asserted by inconsiderate 
writers. The Dutch derived great riches from 
it, because they had the whole market to 
themselves, and were themselves a mere hand- 
full of people. But what can be more un- 
reasonable than to argue from this fact, that 
the same business can be pursued to any 
extent, and that as there is an infinite supply 
of herrings in the sea, so shall there be an 
infinite demand for them ? Yet upon this 
assumption the Fishing Companies seem to 
proceed ; and they will overstock the West 
Indies and the Levant with salted herrings, 
just as other speculators are overstocking 
Europe, Asia, and America with Manchester 
and Birmingham goods. The way to establish 
a great, sure and lasting branch of business in 
this food is to convince our labouring people, 
and indeed all persons who have any regard for 


ceconomy, that it is at once cheap, savoury, 
and wholesome. Sixpenny worth of advice 
and instruction concerning food and cookery, 
written in Frankhn's manner, would do more 
good than all the Cheap ^ Repository books 
and Evangelical pamphletts that have ever 
been dispersed. I believe that in time of 
war it would save many lives in the army, 
by teaching the soldiers how to make a 
comfortable meal of materials, half which 
are now wasted, and the other half eaten in 
such a form that the men neither fill their 
stomachs, nor supply the waste of nature 
with it. 

Inverary loses much of its beauty at low 
water, the beach which is then uncovered 
being extensive and unsightly. The Castle 
would be much improved by taking away 
the battlements, and substituting balustrades. 
Battlements look as if intended for defence, 
and are therefore inappropriate for a dwelling 
house, which this edifice, notwithstanding its 
name, appears to be, as well as is. The sort 
of trefoil or quatrefoil balustrade common in 
cathedrals would be the best finish. 

1 I am told, however, that the Cheap Repository Books 
contain a very good tract on food and cookery for the poor. 
Wherefore I ask the Cheap Repository's pardon. 1824. 


We coasted the Loch till we reached its 
termination and for about a mile round its 
head, as far as Cairndow Inn on the south 
side, 11 miles from Inverary, a single house, 
small, but very comfortable. Some magazines 
and other books were in the room, a Prayer 
Book among them, and a volume of Tillot- 
son's Sermons. 

Leaving the Inn at Cairndow, the road 
leaves Loch Fine also, and almost immediately 
begins to ascend Glenkenlas, a long, long 
ascent between green mountains, sloping 
gradually from the stream which fills the 
bottom. A little way up, on the right, is 
a remarkable streak, or ridge, of large stones, 
embedded in earth, and appearing as if by 
some strange cause they had been forced 
out, like a torrent, from a large hole in the 
hill, just above. Half way up the road turns 
to the right ; the mountains continue green 
to the very summit of the pass, and to their 
own summits also ; and large loose crags are 
lying about in great numbers, and in all 
directions. The ascent is about four miles 
in length ; the descent is thro' Glencroe. 
On the summit is a seat in the green bank, 
looking down Glencroe, and by it the stone 
bearing the beautiful inscription which all 


travellers have noticed — " Rest, and be thank- 
ful." It began to rain soon after we left 
Cairndow, and was raining heavily when we 
reached the summit : otherwise I should 
have been on foot, and have taken my seat 
there, to enjoy the view fully and at leisure. 
Tho' upon a less scale than Glencoe, it is 
in some respects a more impressive scene, 
perhaps because it is one upon which you 
can dwell with pleasure. Everything there 
is wild, great, simple and severe ; but there 
is nothing terrible or savage. The mountains 
are green ; the stones are in fine masses ; and 
the steep sides are cut into green channels 
by the rain, not into stoney ravines, nor 
sheeted with Unes of screes. The road too 
is in itself much finer, descending from the 
immediate summit down a much steeper 
inclination ; and with such volutions that a 
line drawn from the top would intersect it 
several times within a short distance. In 
mountainous countries a fine road is a grand 
and beautiful work, and never so striking 
as when it winds thus steeply and skilfully. 
There has been some improvement of the 
old military line at this place. As soon as 
the steeper part of the descent terminates, 
the glen widens a little, and is under such 


cultivation as suits the situation. After some 
four miles it opens upon Loch Long, an 
inlet of the Firth of Clyde. The country 
here is well cultivated, well wooded, and 
very beautiful. A line of mountains is on 
the opposite shore, and behind them Ben 
Lomond arises in great majesty. Loch 
Lomond lying, unseen by us, between the 
two ridges. The road turns leftward up the 
shore of the salt - water Loch, and rounds 
the head : and not far from the head stands 
Arracher Inn, more beautifully placed than 
any Inn which I have seen either in Scotland 
or elsewhere — a large good house with fine 
trees about it, not a stone's-throw from the 
shore, and with the high summit of the 
grotesque mountain abominably called the 
Cobler, opposite and full in view. 

About half a mile before the Inn, the 
Military Road ends, and with it the power 
of the Commissioners. We entered Dun- 
bartonshire, and the jolting was immediately 
such, that with one accord we pronounced 
the Dunbartonshire roads to be worse than 
the Perthshire. 

Sunday, September 26. — The comfortable 
accommodations at Arracher, and the beauty 


of the grounds around it are now explained. 
It had been the seat of a Gentleman who 
outran his means, and was obliged to sell 
his estate, upon which the old Duke of 
Argyle, who wanted an Inn there, purchased 
it for that purpose. Coarse cotton sheets 
here — of Glasgow fashion sa7is doubt — I have 
learnt not to dislike them, upon this journey. 
Having only two stages for this day's work, 
we breakfasted before we set out. Little 
more than a mile across the hill brought 
us from Loch Long to Tarbert, a decent 
Inn with a post-office, by the side of Loch 
Lomond ; and from thence by a very beauti- 
ful, but in great part a very bad road, we 
proceeded to Luss, 12 miles from Arracher. 
There is a part of Loch Lomond above 
Tarbert, about six miles long, which we did 
not see. The character of the Lake where 
we came upon it is simple and severe, Ben 
Lomond rising steeply, but not precipitously 
from the opposite shore. The right bank 
which we coasted, is well clothed with planta- 
tions of sufficient growth to be ornamental : 
indeed on this side there is no waste ground. 
We were evidently approaching an opulent 
country. The only good work which was 
performed while the Military Roads were 


under the old system, was upon this stage : 
they forsook the old line, which went as 
usual up and down, and made about six 
miles along the shore. This new part is 
still good, but no means are taken for keeping 
it so ; and when the new line ceased, the 
road became worse than any that I had ever 
travelled in G. Britain. The Lake widened 
as we advanced, expanding into a low country, 
where we had a wide firmament and bright 
weather before us, while, behind, the clouds 
were on the hills. 

The house at Luss is a tolerable Inn, not 
like Arracher, which is far the best in the 
Highlands, but sufficiently good. From 
hence the peculiar character of Loch Lomond 
is seen ; it spreads to a width of nine miles 
and is interspersed with islands, some so small 
as to be mere dots upon its surface ; others of 
considerable extent. The magnitude of Ben 
Lomond became more apparent as we receded 
from it. Its outline bears some resemblance 
to Skiddaw ; but the rise is rather steeper, 
and the summit more rounded. We soon 
entered upon a populous and richly cultivated 
country, with gentlemen's seats, and orna- 
mented grounds on either hand. Past a large 
village, or small town, with many marks of 


business and prosperity about it, on the left, 
near the river Leven, by which the Loch 
discharges its waters into the Firth of Clyde. 
A fresh-water lake is more beautiful than an 
inlet of the sea, because its shores are never 
disfigured by slime and weeds, like those of 
the salt-Lochs at low tide : on the other hand, 
where no slime is left, the populousness of 
the sea (as in the Linne Loch) makes ample 
amends for any temporary diminution of 

The best view of Loch Lomond is from a 
hill above the seat of the Smollet family. On 
the right, by the village of Leven, we saw the 
column erected to Smollet's memory. The 
family did well in erecting it : it would become 
them to keep it in a proper state of repair. 
From Luss to Dunbarton 13 miles. It was 
a new and agreable thing to find ourselves 
once more among hedges and fields, villages 
and towns. A great number of well-dressed 
people passed us on their way from Kirk. 
Earlier in the day we saw a woman walking 
barefoot, and with her bare legs exposed half 
way up, tho' she was expensively drest, and 
wore a silk spenser. As we approached 
Dunbarton, the prominent objects were some 
glass-houses pouring out volumes of smoke; 


and the remarkable rock upon which the 
Castle stands. The prints which I have seen 
convey a very exaggerated notion of this 
rock ; it is picturesque and singular, but has 
nothing of sublimity, and little magnitude, 
if those words may be coupled together. 
The elevation is not great ; there are two 
summits, and between the two the Ordinance, 
with just such a feeling of propriety as they 
have shown in erecting a manufactory upon 
the rock at Edinburgh, have built a barrack- 

Dunbarton appears to us like a neat town. 
We are at the Elephant and Castle, a large 
and comfortable Inn. There is a portrait in 
the room of an enormous ox, bred and fed by 
T. Bates of Halton Castle, Northumberland, 
my enthusiastic acquaintance who gave 3000£ 
to the Bible Society. Who would have 
dreamt that he should ever have fattened a 
show-ox in 1808 — or who would have supposed 
that a fat-ox-feeder would ever have run mad 
after the Bible Society ! 

Monday, September 27. — When we arose, 
the Sun was rising low in a red sky, ominous 
of rain. 

Here we took leave of Mitchell, a remark- 


able man, and well deserving to be remembered. 
Mr Telford found him a working mason, who 
could scarcely read or write. But his good 
sense, his good conduct, steadiness, and 
perseverance have been such, that he has been 
gradually raised to be Inspector of all these 
Highland Roads which we have visited, and 
all which are under the Commissioners' care, 
an office requiring a rare union of qualities — 
among others inflexible integrity, a fearless 
temper, and an indefatigable frame. Perhaps 
no man ever possessed these requisites in 
greater perfection than John Mitchell. Were 
but his figure less Tartarish, and more gaunt, 
he would be the very Talus of Spenser. No 
fear or favour in the course of fifteen years 
have ever made him swerve from the fair 
performance of his duty, tho' the Lairds with 
whom he has to deal have omitted no means 
to make him enter into their views, and do 
things, or leave them undone, as might suit 
their humour, or interest. They have 
attempted to cajole and to intimidate him, 
equally in vain. They have repeatedly 
preferred complaints against him in the hope 
of getting him removed from his office, and a 
more flexible person appointed in his stead ; 
and they have not unfrequently threatened 


him with personal violence. Even his life 
has been menaced. But Mitchell holds right 
on. In the midst of this most laborious life, 
he has laboured to improve himself with such 
success, that he is become a good accomptant, 
makes his estimates with facility, and carries 
on his official correspondence in a respectable 
and able manner. In the execution of his 
office he travelled last year not less than 
8800 miles, and every year he travels as much. 
Nor has this life, and the exposure to all 
winds and weathers, and the temptations, 
either of company or of solitude at the 
houses in which he puts up, led him into any 
irregularities or intemperance : neither has his 
elevation in the slightest degree inflated him. 
He is still the same temperate, industrious, 
modest, unassuming man, as when his good 
quahties first attracted Mr Telford's notice. 
Inverness is his home ; he is a married man, 
and has several fine children. 

About half past seven we left Dunbarton 
packed in the coach for it had begun to rain. 
We past a rock on the left, resembling in 
height, and in its insulated situation, that 
on which the Castle is built. Several steam- 
boats were plying on the Clyde — yesterday 
morning when we rose, there was one smoking 


before the window at Arracher, on Loch 
Long. By the road side are magazines of 
broken stones for its repair, laid aside by 
the cubic yard, in walled recesses of three 
sides, the two ends toward the road being 
sloped, so that the stones may form an 
inclined plane. These receptacles were named 
by R. stone-kists, and thus they will hence- 
forth be called. Similar ones are making on 
the Holyhead road ; but it was near Glasgow 
that the practise of breaking stones to the 
right size and thus piling them, began. We 
drove to the Buck's Head in Argyle Street. 
Large as this house is, they had no room 
with a fire, when we arrived cold and hungry, 
at ten o'clock, on a wet morning. 

The Inns in large cities are generally 
detestable, and this does not appear to form 
an exception from the common rule. But 
it afforded what I cannot but notice as a 
curiosity in its kind unique, as far as my 
knowledge extends. In the Coinmodite, which 
is certainly not more than six feet by four, 
there was a small stove, which as I learned 
from certain inscriptions in pencil on the 
wall, is regularly heated in the winter I 

A City like Glasgow is a hateful place for 
a stranger, unless he is reconciled to it by 


the comforts of hospitality and society. In 
any other case the best way is to reconnoitre 
it, so as to know the outline and outside, and 
to be contented with such other information 
as books can supply. Argyle Street is the 
finest part ; it has a mixture of old and new 
buildings, but is long enough and lofty enough 
to be one of the best streets in G. Britain. 
The Cathedral is the only edifice of its kind 
in Scotland which received no external injury 
at the Reformation. Two places of worship 
have been neatly fitted up within. I observed, 
however, three things deserving reprobation. 
The window in one of these kirks had been 
made to imitate painted glass, by painting 
on the glass, and this of course had a paltry 
and smeary appearance. The arches in those 
upper passages which at Westminster we 
used absurdly to call the nunneries, and of 
which I do not know the name, are filled 
up with an imitation of windows : these are 
instances of the worst possible taste. The 
other fault belongs to the unclean part of 
the national character ; for the seats are so 
closely packed that any person who could 
remain there during the time of service in 
warm weather, must have an invincible nose. 
I doubt even whether any incense could 


overcome so strong and concentrated an 
odour of humanity. 

I was much struck with the picturesque 
appearance of the monuments in the Church 
yard — such large ones as we have in our 
churches, being here ranged along the wall, 
so that even on the outside their irregular 
outline makes an impressive feature in the 
scene. They were digging a grave near 
the entrance of the Church ; had it been in 
any other situation, 1 should not have learnt 
a noticeable thing. A frame consisting of 
iron rods was fixed in the grave, the rods 
being as long as the grave was deep. Within 
this frame the coffin was to be let down and 
buried, and then an iron cover fitted on to 
the top of the rods, and strongly locked. 
When there is no longer any apprehension 
of danger from the resurrection - men, the 
cover is unlocked and the frame drawn out : 
a month it seems is the regular term. This 
invention, which is not liable to the same 
legal objection as the iron coffins, is about 
two years old. The price paid for its use 
is a shilling per day. 

Seeing some mountain-ash berries at a 
green -grocers, and others pickled and bottled 
in a little shop near, we asked at the shop 


for what they were intended. To my sur- 
prize, civilly as the question was asked, the 
woman seemed to consider it as implying 
some contempt, and insisted that they were 
only bottled with clear spring water — "just 
for curiosity " — mere things to be looked at. 
This was so impossible, that we asked the 
same question at the green-grocers, and there 
we were informed that they were preserved 
with sugar, as being good for sore throats. 

Apples and pears are sold in Scotland by 
the pound. 

The University has an ancient and respect- 
able appearance. The Lion opposite the 
Unicorn on the steps leading up to what 
I suppose to be the Library, is the most 
comical Lion I ever beheld ; more like a 
Toad, sitting erect in a grave attitude, than 
anything else. They have hackney vis-a-vis 
here drawn by one horse. And here I see 
that herses in Scotland are ornamented with 
gilt death's-heads and cross-bones ! 

One stage to Hamilton, passing over 
Bothwell Bridge, famous in history, and 
in modern Scotch romance. The Inn stands 
on the hill above the town, and is in every 
respect very comfortable, owing much of this 
to its quiet situation. I never anywhere else 



saw so good a dinner set forth with so 
little delay. We have generally had long 
to wait ; but here, beef stakes were ready 
in ten minutes, and excellent cold partridge 
and pigeon pies were produced. 

Tuesday, September 28. — Hamilton is a 
dirty old town, with a good many thatched 
houses in the street — implying either poverty, 
or great disregard of danger from fire. 15 
miles to Lanark, thro' a beautiful country, 
the Clyde being generally in sight. No part 
of England, the Lake-Land alone excepted, 
is more lovely than this. And, the number 
of quintas show that the Scotch are fully 
sensible of its beauty : the Portugueze word 
occurs naturally to me, and we want a word 
of home-growth — villa is not English — seat 
has another meaning — and gentlemens-houses 
of too Dutch-like a form of composition. 
Among these are two modern Gothic build- 
ings which must have been very expensive : 
both look well, and one of them, as far as 
I could distinguish its parts, appeared to have 
been built in the old fashion of Scotland and 
the Low Countries adapted to modern comfort 
with good taste and effect — in that fashion it 
had round towers at the corners, and pointed 


roofs. The ground about the lower falls of 
the Clyde belongs to Robert Owen of Lanark ; 
he has made a circuitous walk to them, with 
good intention, but somewhat unluckily for 
us, to whom a long walk was thus made 
necessary thro' a heavy shower. It is a grand 
scene, tho' we saw it to disadvantage, the 
water being very low. 

After breakfast we walked to New Lanark, 
which is about a mile from the town. The 
approach to this establishment reminded me 
of the descent upon the baths of Monchique, 
more than any other scene which I could call 
to mind. The hills are far inferior in height, 
neither is there so much wood about them ; 
but the buildings lie in such a dingle, and 
in like manner surprize you by their position, 
and their uncommon character. There is too 
a regular appearance, such as belongs to a 
conventual or eleemosynary establishment. 
The descent is very steep : such as is imphed 
by saying you might throw a stone down the 

A large convent is more like a cotton-mill 
than it is like a college — that is to say, such 
convents as have been built since the glorious 
age of ecclesiastical architecture, and these 
are by far the greater number. They are like 


great infirmaries, or manufactories ; and these 
mills which are three in number, at a distance 
might be mistaken for convents, if in a 
Catholic country. There are also several 
streets, or rather rows of houses for the 
persons employed there ; and other buildings 
connected with the establishment. These 
rows are cleaner than the common streets of 
a Scotch town, and yet not quite so clean as 
they ought to be. Their general appearance 
is what might be looked for in a Moravian 

I had written to Owen from Inverary ; and 
he expected us, he said, to stay with him a 
week, or at the very least three days ; it was 
not without difficulty that we persevered in 
our purpose of proceeding the same evening 
to Douglas Mill. 

He led us thro' the works with great 
courtesy, and made as full an exhibition as 
the time allowed. It is needless to say any- 
thing more of the Mills than that they are 
perfect in their kind, according to the present 
state of mechanical science, and that they 
appeared to be under admirable management ; 
they are thoroughly clean, and so carefully 
ventilated, that there was no unpleasant 
smell in any of the apartments. Everything 


required for the machinery is made upon the 
spot, and the expence of wear and tear is 
estimated at 8000£ annually. There are 
stores also from which the people are supplied 
with all the necessaries of life. They have 
a credit there to the amount of sixteen shillings 
a week each, but may deal elsewhere if they 
chuse. The expences of what he calls the 
moral part of the establishment, he stated at 
700£ a year. But a large building is just 
compleated, with ball and concert and lecture 
rooms, all for " the formation of character " ; 
and this must have required a considerable 
sum, which I should think must surely be set 
down to Owen's private account, rather than 
to the cost of the concern. 

In the course of going thro' these buildings, 
he took us into an apartment where one of his 
plans, upon a scale larger than any of the Swiss 
models, was spread upon the floor. And with 
a long wand in his hand he explained the 
plan, while Willy and Francis stood by, with 
wondering and longing eyes, regarding it as 
a plaything, and hoping they might be allowed 
to amuse themselves with it. Meantime the 
word had been given : we were conducted 
into one of the dancing rooms ; half a dozen 
fine boys, about nine or ten years old, led the 


way, playing on fifes, and some 200 children, 
from four years of age till ten, entered the 
room and arranged themselves on three sides 
of it. A man whose official situation I did 
not comprehend gave the word, which either 
because of the tone or the dialect I did not 
understand ; and they turned to the right 
or left, faced about, fell forwards and back- 
wards, and stamped at command, performing 
manoeuvres the object of which was not very 
clear, with perfect regularity. I remembered 
what T. Vardon had told me of the cows in 
Holland. When the cattle are housed, the 
Dutch in their spirit of cleanliness, prevent 
them from dirting their tails by tying them 
up (to the no small discomfort of the cows) at 
a certain elevation, to a cross string which 
extends the whole length of the stalls : and 
the consequence is that when any one cow 
wags her tail, all the others must wag theirs 
also. So I could not but think that these 
puppet - like motions might, with a little 
ingenuity, have been produced by the great 
water-wheel, which is the primum mobile of 
the whole Cotton-Mills. A certain number 
of the children were then drawn out, and sung 
to the pipe of a music master. They after- 
wards danced to the piping of the six little 


pipers. There was too much of all this, but 
the children seemed to like it. When the 
exhibition was over, they filed off into the 
adjoining school room. 

I was far better pleased with a large room 
in which all the children of the establish- 
ment who are old enough not to require the 
constant care of their mothers, and too young 
for instruction of any kind, were brought 
together while their parents were at work, 
and left to amuse themselves, with no more 
superintendence than is necessary for prevent- 
ing them from hurting themselves. They 
made a glorious noise, worth all the concerts 
of New Lanark, and of London to boot. 
It was really delightful to see how the little 
creatures crowded about Owen to make their 
bows and their curtesies, looking up and 
smiling in his face ; and the genuine benignity 
and pleasure with which he noticed them, 
laying his hand on the head of one, shaking 
hands with another, and bestowing kind looks 
and kind words upon all. 

Owen in reality deceives himself He is 
part-owner and sole Director of a large 
establishment, differing more in accidents 
than in essence from a plantation : the persons 
under him happen to be white, and are at 


liberty by law to quit his service, but while 
they remain in it they are as much under his 
absolute management as so many negro-slaves. 
His humour, his vanity, his kindliness of 
nature (all these have their share) lead him 
to make these human machines as he calls 
them (and too literally believes them to be) 
as happy as he can, and to make a display 
of their happiness. And he jumps at once 
to the monstrous conclusion that because he 
can do this with 2210 persons, who are totally 
dependent upon him — all mankind might be 
governed with the same facility. Et in 
Utopia ego. But I never regarded man as a 
machine ; I never believed him to be merely a 
material being ; I never for a moment could 
listen to the nonsense of Helvetius, nor 
suppose, as Owen does, that men may be 
cast in a mould (like the other parts of his 
mill) and take the impression with perfect 
certainty. Nor did I ever disguise from myself 
the difficulties of a system which took for its 
foundation the principle of a community of 
goods. On the contrary I met them fairly, 
acknowledged them, and rested satisfied with 
the belief (whether erroneous or not) that 
the evils incident in such a system would be 
infinitely less than those which stare us in the 


face under the existing order. But Owen 
reasons from his Cotton Mills to the whole 
empire. He keeps out of sight from others, 
and perhaps from himself, that his system, 
instead of aiming at perfect freedom, can 
only be kept in play by absolute power. 
Indeed, he never looks beyond one of his 
own ideal square villages, to the rules and 
proportions of which he would square the 
whole human race. The fo?^matio7i of char- 
acter f Why the end of his institutions 
would be, as far as possible, the destruction 
of all character. They tend directly to 
destroy individuality of character and domes- 
ticity — in the one of which the strength of 
man consists, and in the other his happiness. 
The power of human society, and the grace, 
would both be annihilated. 

Yet I admire the man, and like him too. 
And the Yahoos who are bred in our manu- 
facturing towns, and under the administration 
of our Poor Laws are so much worse than 
the Chinese breed which he proposes to raise, 
that I should be glad to see his regulations 
adopted, as the Leeds people have proposed, 
for a colony of paupers. Such a variety in 
society would be curious ; and might as well 
be encouraged as Quakerism and Moravianism. 


Owen walked with us to the Inn : and we 
set off just in time to accomplish a stage 
of 8 miles to Douglas Mill, before night fell. 
The Inn was formerly the Miller's house ; 
a new one must be built, because it is out 
of repair, and because the new road will be 
at some little distance from it. Our accom- 
modations there were good. 

Wednesday, September 29. — After breakfast 
15 miles to Elvan Foot, in part thro' a 
country almost as dreary and quite as desolate 
as the Highlands, tho' not so black ; the 
latter part green, hilly and pastoral, resembling 
the Eskdale country. 13 to Moffat, for the 
most part on a descent, with the Annan 
frequently near us. 

Tweed, Annan and Clyde 
All rise upon one hilPs side. 

Tweed run, Annan won, 

Clyde fell and broke his neck, 

— such is the broken rhyme of the country, 
as repeated to me by Mr Telford, himself 
a native of Langholme. We had gone up 
the Clyde, and now went down the Annan. 
Moffat is a pretty little town, frequented 
at certain seasons because of some mineral 


waters in its neighbourhood. The surrounding 
country is monotonous and pastoral. 

Thursday, September 30. — The Coach was 
discharged at Moffat, and we proceeded in 
two post-chaises, starting at seven, so that 
we got to Lockerby, 16 miles, to breakfast, 
meaning to reach Carlisle this night. 20 to 
Longtown. I turned aside with T. and R. 
to look at the foundations for an iron bridge 
over the Esk, upon the new road. The piers 
are now just above water. Here I heard a 
story relating to this bridge, which is worthy 
of remembrance. In looking for stone, the 
persons employed in building it discovered 
a fine quarry on the estate of Sir John 
Maxwell of Springkill. They applied to the 
Agent who managed his concerns, and were 
told that benefitted as Sir John would be 
by the discovery, as well as by the road and 
bridge, he would expect no payment for the 
stones which they might want. Upon this 
assurance they opened the quarry, at an 
expence of some hundred pounds. Sir John 
then demanded an exorbitant price for the 
stone ; and when he was asked if something 
was not to be allowed them for having dis- 
covered it, he replied, no, the only wonder 


was that it had not been discovered before. 
He makes them pay Ijd. (?) the cubic foot, 
for which price they might obtain stone 
elsewhere, but not so near : and he would 
have insisted upon a higher price, if they 
had not threatened to bring the question 
before a Jury, which the act authorizes 
them to do. 

On the road we learnt that this was the 
last day of the races at Carlisle, and con- 
sequently that if we proceeded thither we 
should find no room. Of necessity therefore 
we stopt at Longtown, the cleanliness of 
the Inn there appearing to great advantage 
after the Inns in Scotland. There is a 
coloured print in the room of the Un- 
rivalled Lincolnshire Heifer, fed by Thomas 
Willoughby of Orby near Burgh — the 
portraits of fat animals being, I observe, 
preferred to all other subjects of art by 
Inn-keepers. We were so pleased with this 
excellent Inn that T. could not help regretting 
the injury he should do it by turning the 
Glasgow road. But I heard afterwards that 
the Chief Baron lately casting his eye upon 
the bill after he had left the house, perceived 
a charge of fourpence for — reading the news- 
paper ! 


Friday, October 1. — Here we left Mr Telford, 
who takes the mail for Edinburgh. This 
parting company, after the thorough intimacy 
which a long journey produces between fellow 
travellers who like each other, is a melancholy 
thing. A man more heartily to be liked, 
more worthy to be esteemed and admired, 
I have never fallen in with ; and therefore 
it is painful to think how little likely it is 
that I shall ever see much of him again — 
how certain that I shall never see so much. 
Yet I trust he will not forget his promise 
of one day making Keswick on his way to 
or from Scotland. 

We breakfasted at Carlisle, and proceeded 
by way of Wigton to Keswick. This road 
was preferred, that my fellow travellers might 
enter the Lake Country by Bassenthwaite, 
which is the best approach from the North, 
and a very fine one. I felt the richness of 
our scenery in comparison with Scotland now, 
as much as I had perceived its poverty on 
my return from Switzerland. Reached home 
to dinner, and found all well, thus happily 
concluding a journey of more than six weeks, 
during which I have laid up a great store 
of pleasurable recollections. 


Aberdeen, 67 

Achanault, 163 

Achnacarry, 207 

"Acre," an indefinite measure 

in the Highlands, 161 
Arbroath, 59 
Arrochar, 247 

Baillie, Evan, improvement 
of his estate at Dochfour, 
Ballachulish, 225 
Ballindalloch, 95 
Banff, 81 
Bannockburn, 21 
Barclay's Argenis, xlvii, 3 
Beattie, J., 72 
Beauly, 117 

Bell Rock Lighthouse, 59 
Ben Arthur ("The Cobbler"), 

Ledi, 29 

Lomond, 247 

Nevis, 202 

Venue, 29, 31 
Bervie, 62 
Birnam Wood, 48 
Black Isle, The, 167 
Bridges— Bonar, 128; Conon, 
118; Con tin, 147; Craigel- 

lachie, 94; Dunkeld, 46 
Esk, 267; Ferness, 101 
Lovat, 113, 116; Roy, 211 
Spean,211; Tay, 51 
Bruce, James, 36 

Caledonian Canal— Locks at 
Inverness entrance, 170; 
Loch Ness, 172; dredging 
machine at Fort Augustus, 
182 ; construction of the 
five locks there, 183 ; ex- 
cavations at Loch Lochy, 
185 ; paucity of remains 
discovered in excavating 
for the canal and roads, 
186 ; works on Lochs Oich 
and Lochy, 186; entrance 
works at Corpach, 202 ; 
methods of regulation and 
control of the water, 204 

Callander, 27 

Cambuskenneth Abbey, 22 

Canals — Caledonian {see Cale- 
donian); Forth and Clyde, 
20; Inverurie, 78 

Carlisle, New Courts at, 1 

Carse of Gowrie, 51 

Carts, 162 



Castles — Ballindalloch, 95 ; 
Doune, 25 ; Dunottar, 65 ; 
Dunrobin, 133 ; Fyvie, 
80 ; Gordon, 89 ; Inverary, 
240, 244 ; Invergarry, 187 ; 
Inverlochy, 202; Kothes, 
92 ; Stirling, 21 ; Urquhart, 

Cathedrals and Churches — 
Arbroath, 59 ; Beauly 
(Priory), 117; Dundee, 55 ; 
Dunkeld, 45, 47; Elgin, 
90; Glasgow, 255; Perth, 

Chain, silver, found in excava- 
ting for the Caledonian 
Canal, 186 

China, Worcester, trade in, 
with the Highlands, 141 

Contin, 147 

Corpach, 218 

Craig Phaidric, 168 

CuUen, 85 

Dale, David, establisher of a 
woollen factory on Dornoch 
Firth, 132 

Dalmally, 237 

" Dark Mile, The," 207 

Davidson, Matthew, superin- 
tendent of the Caledonian 
Canal, 110 

Dingwall, 119, 165 

Dornoch Firth, 128 

Doune, 25 

Druim (Strath Glass), 116 

Dumbarton, 251 

Dundee, 53 

Dunkeld, 45 
Dunrobin, 133 

Easton, Alexander, resident 
engineer on the Caledonian 
Canal, 189, 218 

Edinburgh, 3; Watson's Hos- 
pital, 5; Merchants'Orphan 
Girls' School, 5 ; Gillespie's 
Hospital, 6 ; Charlotte 
Square Church, 8 ; Orphan 
Hospital, 10 ; Heriot's 
Hospital, 10 ; Holyrood 
House, 13; High Street, 
14; the Windes, 14; the 
College, 15 

Eskdale, 2 

Estates, forfeited, application 
of rents to public works, 
88; effects of restoration 
of, 208 

Falls of Foyees, 177 

Kilmorack, 113 
Ferness, 101 

Ferries — Ballachulish, 224; 
Kessock, 167; Kyle Akin, 
158 ; Meikle, 129 ; Strome, 
Fish and fisheries, freshwater, 
33, 90, 114, 117, 193 
sea, 66, 82, 87, 102, 146, 
Fleet Mound, 133 
Fochabers, 89 
Forestry, 45, 47, 85, 103 
Forres, 103 



Fort Augustus, 181, 192 

George, 108 

William, 202, 217 
Foyers, Falls of, 177 

" Galloway Dikes," 164 

Garve, 149 

Gibb, John, resident engineer 
on harbour works at Peter- 
head, CuUen, etc., 62 

Glasgow, 255 ; Argyle Street, 
255 ; Cathedral, 255 j 
University, 257 

Glassites, The, 56 

Glencoe, 229 

Glencroe, 245 

Glen Carron, 153 
Kinglas, 245 
Roy, 213 
Spean, 211 

Government assistance for 
public works, 89 

Gow, Neil, 49 

Gower, Lord, 134 

Grant, Mrs Anne, 4, 9 

Grantown, 98 

Haebohr Woeks— Aberdeen, 
74 ; Banflf (Pier), 82 ; 
Bervie, 62; Cullen, 85; 
Dingwall, 118; Dundee, 
53 ; Fraserburgh, 89 ; 
Invergordon (Pier), 121 ; 
Peterhead, 89 

Hare, Augustus William, meet- 
ing with, at Brahan Castle, 

Hawking, 37 

Herring barrels, birch staves 

substituted for oak, 146 
curing, Banff, 83 ; Cullen, 

Highlanders, religious character 

of the, 43 
Hospitals, mortality in, due to 

defective ventilation, 7 

Inveraey, 240 
Invergarry, 191, 195 
Invergordon, 121 
Inverness, 109, 169, 175 

Jeantown, 153 

KlLLIN, 39 
Kincardine, 127 

Leopold, Pkince, visit to Edin- 
burgh, 13 ; to Elgin, 96 ; to 
Nairn, 106 
Letter Finlay, 201 
Linlithgow, 19 
Lochalsh, 160 
Loch Achray, 29 

Arkaig, 207 

Awe, 239 

Carron, 157 

Earn, 37 

Eil, 222 

Fyne, 243 

Katrine, 28, 30 

Leven, 227 

Liunhe, 222 

Lochy, 201 

Lomond, 247, 248, 249 

Luichart, 148 



Loch Ness, 172; quality of the 
water of, 174 ; " bore " on, 
at the time of the Lisbon 
earthquake (1755), 180 
Oich, 187 
Kosque, 163 
Tay, 41 
Vennachar, 29 
Longtown, 268 

Mackenzie, Sir George 
(" Bloody Mackenzie "), 8 
Sir George, 146 
Henry (the "Man of Feel- 
ing "), portrait of, at Brahan 
Castle, 165 
John, 148 

Macpherson, James, 149 

Marl, use of, in agriculture, 173 

Mary Queen of Scots, portrait 
of, at Holyrood House, 13 ; 
at Brahan Castle, 165 

Mealfourvonie, 173 

Mitchell, John, general super- 
intendent of the Highland 
roads, 62, 155, 251 

Montrose, 61 

Monuments — Beattie (J., and J. 
H., and M.) at Aberdeen, 
72 ; Cameron (Corpach), 
218 ; Macdonell (Inver- 
garry), 190; inscriptions 
on the, 197 ; Picts House 
(Dunaliskaig), 125 ; Spadie- 
lingum, 125 ; Sweno's 
Stone (Forres), 104; Ulli- 
vacum, 125 

Munro, Sir Hector, 120 

Nairn, 105 
New Lanark, 259. 

Old Meldrum, 79 

Owen, Robert, his mills and 

settlement at New Lanark, 


"Parallel Roads" of Glen 

Roy, 1, 212 ; plan of, made 

by A. Easton, 218 
Parliamentary Commissioners 

for Highland Roads, 1803, 

Peat fires, 99, 103 
smoke, effect of, on roofs and 

rafters, 177 
Perth, 49 
Peterloo, 17 
Peter^s Letters to his Kinsfolk, 

xlvii, 9 
Picts' House (Dunaliskaig), 125 
Ponies, Highland, for work in 

coal-pits, 147 

Rannoch Moor, 233 

" Rest and be Thankful," 246 

Rickman, John, xlvii, 3 

Road material, grading, and 
storage of, near Glasgow 

Roads — Perthshire, 26, 235; 
Callander to Loch Katrine, 
28; Banff, 81; Strath 
Glass, 113, 115; Fearn, 
142; Skye, 158; Glen 
Spean, 211 ; Dumbarton- 
shire, 247; Loch Lomond, 



Roads, military, effects of their 
improvement on traflBc, 237 

Ropes made of birch twigs and 
fir roots, 160 

Salt, illicit trade in, 192, 233 
Scenery, lake, contrasted with 
English and Continental, 
20, 52, 220, 229, 231, 241, 249 
Scottish agriculture and cultiva- 
tion. 33, 40, 49, 51, 57, 58, 
60, 64, 67, 76, 80, 92, 103, 
120, 173, 210, 234, 242 
architecture and building : — 
cathedrals, churches, and 
public buildings, 8, 15, 
19, 47, 55, 59, 68, 77, 122 
dwelling-houses and cot- 
tages, 23, 33, 48, 59, 80, 
83, 101, 121, 136, 144, 
153, 207 
burial customs, 38, 90, 127, 

176, 238, 256, 257 
clergy, condition and stand- 
ing of, 144 
dress, 10, 24, 139, 194, 250 
fairs, 25, 111, 147 
flora. 17, 34, 47, 60, 89, 117, 

126, 170, 220, 226, 233 
furniture and domestic 
arrangements, 11, 91, 102, 
151, 218, 236 
inns and accommodation for 
travellers, 3, 27, 37, 64, 79, 
91, 93, 98, 123, 150, 151, 
154, 162, 176, 201, 217, 225, 
232, 234, 245, 248, 254, 257, 

Scottish manses, 144, 239 
viands, 5, 27, 58, 66, 76, 85, 
152, 153, 163, 164, 193, 217, 
232, 244 

Sea-weed, used as manure, 64, 
224 ; eaten by cattle, 123 

Skye, Isle of, economic con- 
ditions in, 159 

Smollett, T. G., monument to, 

Southey, Robert, meeting in 
Edinburgh with Rickman, 
3; calls on Blackwood, 4; 
meets Telford, 7 ; break- 
fasts with Mrs Grant, 
authoress of Memoirs of an 
Ame?-ican Lady, 9 ; makes 
purchases for his library, 
12, 23, 53, 54, 61, 67, 72; 
introduced to Lockhart, 
16; his appellation of 
" the Wolf," 20 ; views of 
Scottish fare, 20, 58, 66, 
93, 96, 112, 117, 141, 149, 
150, 152, 153, 163, 164, 165, 
242 ; troubled by a tumour 
on his head, 50, 70, 110, 
167 ; elected an honorary 
member of the Literary 
Society of Banff, 106; 
meetings with Augustus 
Hare, 165, 194; views on 
the origin of the Vitrified 
Forts, 168, and of the 
Parallel Roads, 215 ; on 
the New Lanark settle- 
ment of Robert Owen, 259 : 



parts from Telford, 269 ; his 
appreciation of Telford's 
character, 269 

Steamboats plying between 
Glasgow and Fort William, 
242 ; on the Clyde, 253 

Steam heating of Aberdeen 
East and West Kirks, 74 

Stirling, 21 

Stonehaven, 65 

" Strath," meaning of, 36, 116 

Strath Bran, 151 
Glass, 113 

Strath peflfer, reclamation of 
marshland at, 145 ; mineral 
spring at, 146 

Sutherland, Countess of 
(Marchioness of Stafford), 
133 ; conversion of estates 
to sheep farms, 136 ; large 
expenditure on improve- 
ment of her estates, 138 

Tain, 123 

Tarn Wadling, xlvii, 1, 20 

Telford, Thomas, character and 
personality, 7, 269; his 
system of road-making, 54, 
96. (See also Bridges, 
Harbours, and Roads for 
description of works carried 
out by Telford) 

Timber, 31, 115 (Tynessie saw- 
mills), 139, 146 

Tobar-nan-Ceann, 190, 197 

Tolls in Sutherlandshire, 130 

Trossachs, The, 29 

Turriff, 81 

Tyndrum, 235 

Vitrified Forts, 1, 133, 168 

Wade, General, 38, 44, 95, 98, 
176, 178 

Weighing machines at turn- 
pikes, 52 

Whaling industry, 75 

"White Stone of Kincardine," 

Woods, destruction of, 31 


/o i 



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